Kennedy Wilson seals €306 million deal For former Treasury properties

Last May, Kennedy Wilson was named as the leading candidate to buy the properties, including Stillorgan Shopping Centre, KPMG’s Dublin office on Stephen’s Green and the Bank of Ireland HQ on Mespil Road, which were financed by €425 million in bonds issued by listed vehicle Opera House Finance (CMH) plc. 

Northwood Investors, one of Opera House’s creditors and an under bidder in the sale process, said last month that it would offer €311 million following requests from other bondholders unhappy with Kennedy Wilson’s terms.

However, Opera Finance has confirmed that Kennedy Wilson’s original bid has succeeded and formally announced to bond holders that €306 million is available for distribution.

A spokesman for German bank Eurohypo, which serviced the loans, explained yesterday that a steering committee of bondholders formed to consider the Northwood bid had decided that it would not have been possible to get the necessary support for it at an extraordinary general meeting.

As a result, the sale of the portfolio to Kennedy Wilson went ahead this week. The Beverley Hills-based investor, which was advised on the purchase by property specialist Savill,s has completed a number of such deals in Dublin this year. 

These included the State Street Building in the city’s docklands for €108 million, the Gasworks apartment complex in Ringsend for €40 million and the Clancy Barracks site for €80 million. Johnny Ronan and Richard Barrett’s Treasury Holdings, which is now in liquidation, originally owned the Opera House portfolio, which was managed by its London-listed associate, Real Estate Opportunities.

Other properties in the package included a Marks & Spencer store in Cork, and the offices of law firm Mason Hayes & Curran on Barrow Street in Dublin. The rent roll is about €25 million a year, giving Kennedy Wilson a yield of just under 8 per cent. It is thought to be 98 per cent occupied.

David Hughes and Luke Charleton of Ernst & Young have been lined up as receivers of the properties and property companies connected with the loan notes.

Under the deal’s terms, the most well-secured, class-A bondholders will receive all of the €243 million due to them. Source: The Irish Times