Blackstone and Google split NAMA’s Platinum portfolio for €165m

Blackstone and Google have split the spoils of NAMA’s four-strong Dublin office Platinum portfolio for a combined sale price of €165m, CoStar News can reveal.

Blackstone logoThe two separate winners fended off second round offers from Hibernia REIT and Irish Life to split the 321,161 sq ft Dublin office portfolio between them. Earlier in the process Delancey was also briefly interested.

CoStar News understands that Blackstone has paid around €100m for the 82,423 sq ft Hume House on Pembroke Road; the 83,687 sq ft Bloodstone Building on Sir John Rogerson’s Quay; and Riverside IV’s Block B on Britain Quay. The three office blocks have a combined annual rent roll of €4.56m.

Google has completed the purchase of the 96,383 sq ft Grand Mill Quay on Barrow Street, which it partly occupies, for around €65m. Google occupies 21.3% of the total space in the two interconnecting blocks and its European headquarters is the adjacent, Gordon House.

The combined €165m price reflects a 37.5% premium on the original €120m asking price when the portfolio came to market late last year.

For Google the acquisition will enable the internet search engine giant to meet its expanding space requirements with the majority of the leases running off in a 12-month period from this autumn.

Blackstone will seek to capitalise on the recovering Dublin occupier market and lease up the vacant space, and re-gear maturing leases.

Riverside IV’s Block B currently has 50% of its 58,669 sq ft space vacant, while 42.2% of Bloodstone Building’s 83,687 sq ft is currently vacant.

Hume House, by contrast, is the standout value-creation play for Blackstone. Built in the 1960s, the 82,423 sq ft Hume House offers a reasonably prime location albeit in need of considerable capex to modernise the asset, after which higher rents could be commanded.

Currently, 21.5% of Hume House is vacant, while anchor tenants Bank of Ireland and Allied Irish Bank are on differing 25 and 35-year leases, predominantly with breaks in 2023 and 2024.

Incidentally, these two of Blackstone’s newest tenants within its mighty property portfolio are likely to be among the prospective lenders which would seek to finance the private equity firm’s €100m majority Platium portfolio acquisition.

CBRE and Knight Frank managed the sales process for the Platinum portfolio, on behalf of receivers Paul McCann of Grant Thornton and Declan Taite of RSM Farrell Grant Sparks, which were appointed by NAMA last autumn.

NAMA is at the second round stage of selling Project Holly, with bidders in the mix first revealed by CoStar News here, while second and final round bids for Central Park are due in on 29 January, again with CoStar News’ first revealing the leading contenders here.

All parties declined to comment.

However, in a review of 2013, which NAMA published on Friday, the bad bank stated that it has completed €4bn worth of loan sales on a nominal basis.

“NAMA is keen to enter into joint venture arrangements to support transactional activity in the Irish market,” according to a press statement on its website.

The statement continued: “Joint ventures which have been agreed to date include that agreed with Starwood Capital in respect of the Aspen portfolio and with Oaktree Capital in respect of land with a development potential of 50,000 square metres in Dublin’s South Docklands.”

About CoStar News

Finance Editor, CoStar News
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