Blackstone Group Set To Buy More Irish Real Estate

Bloomberg

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Blackstone Group LP plans to buy about $136.2 million of Dublin office space as Ireland recovers from Western Europe's worst property crash, two people with knowledge of the matter said.

Blackstone is set to purchase three buildings from Ireland's National Asset Management Agency in Dublin, said the people, who asked not to be named as the deal isn't complete. Separately, Google Inc. is the top bidder to buy the 96,500-square-foot Grand Mill Quay property in the Irish capital for as much as $81.8 million from the agency, one of the people said.

Irish commercial properties are generating annual income returns of 9.7 percent, more than any other country, according to data compiled by Investment Property Databank Ltd. The four buildings, known as the Platinum Collection, were put up for sale in October with a total asking price of $164 million, according to a statement at the time from brokers CBRE Group Inc. and Knight Frank LLP.

Google, NAMA and Blackstone all declined to comment.

Amid signs of a recovery, Ireland is becoming a magnet for international buyers. Blackstone bought the 501-bedroom Burlington Hotel in south Dublin in 2012.

Google, based in Mountain View, Calif., already leases workspace at Grand Mill Quay, The company, which employs 2,500 people in Ireland, spent $309.6 million buying three other buildings on Dublin's Barrow Street in 2011, it said in October 2012.

NAMA was set up to take on and sell real estate assets purged from Ireland's lenders after the country's property market collapsed. Irish commercial property prices have fallen by about two thirds from their 2007 peak, and residential property by about half.

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