Developer Richard Barrett and UK private equity fund seal off-market deal for assets
Henley Bartra has paid €125 million in an off-market deal for a portfolio of office and data centre assets in Dublin and Cork.
The company is a joint venture between UK private equity giant Henley and developer Richard Barrett’s Bartra Capital. This transaction represents Henley Bartra’s largest single acquisition to date and means it secures ownership of nearly 500,000sq ft of property distributed across the Citywest Business Campus in Dublin and Cork Airport Business Park.
In the case of Citywest, Henley Bartra has acquired a 369,000sq ft portfolio comprising 11 buildings, development sites and car parks from the scheme’s original developers, the Davy Hickey Property Group. The Cork portfolio extends to 140,000sq ft and was acquired from a private vendor.
The properties at both locations are occupied by a wide cross-section of the tech, telecoms, consumer and pharmaceutical sectors. While Henley Bartra did not provide a breakdown of the amounts paid for individual elements of the overall portfolio, market sources estimate the assets at Citywest account for approximately €100 million of the €125 million sale price.
“Our continued interest in Ireland is representative of our strategies to focus on key European markets that offer favourable supply-demand dynamics and in investments that we believe will prove resilient throughout the uncertainty in the near term,” said Henley’s chief investment officer Justin Meissel.
Commercial real estate director at Bartra Paul McGrath said the acquisition of such high-quality assets firmly established Henley Bartra as a significant presence in the Irish investment market.
Bartra and its partners would continue to “seek and secure further acquisitions” in the Irish market, said Mr McGrath.
Bartra’s involvement in a joint venture with Henley provides it with considerable financial firepower. Since its establishment in 2006, the UK-headquartered private equity property investor has nearly doubled in size every year. Henley has more than $3.5 billion (€3.1 billion) of assets under management with investments in development, commercial, residential, healthcare, land infrastructure, debt and other alternative real estate assets.
Henley entered the Irish investment market with Bartra as its local partner in April 2018. On that occasion, Henley Bartra paid €15 million to acquire the Phoenix House office building near Phoenix Park in Dublin and an office and light industrial property at the Citywest Business Campus.
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