Davidson Kempner snaps up Project Lanyon for £50m

Davidson Kempner, the US hedge fund, has completed the acquisition of the circa 700-strong portfolio of Northern Irish residential assets, dubbed Project Lanyon, from Bank of Ireland for just in excess of £50m, writes Chris Borland.

Lotus Group was a minority joint venture partner alongside Davidson Kempner Capital Management.

The sale attracted significant levels of interest from both domestic and international investors for the 700-units, which are all located in Northern Ireland, according to market sources.

Bank of Ireland had instructed Savills to seek overs off a guide price of £55m for the direct asset sale.

According to market sources in Northern Ireland, the large scale asset sale could be a bellwether deal, with more residential assets likely to be brought forward to whet the increasing investor appetite.

Conor Beirne, partner at Ulster Property Sales, said: “The Northern Irish residential market has experienced significant rental growth over the past 12 months, which we expect to continue. Capital values are recovering well, with certain parts of Belfast moving towards pre-recessionary levels.”

Last month, Davidson Kempner completed its acquisition of the National Portfolio, the largest Irish real estate asset opportunity to come to market in terms of overall floor area, from Bank of Ireland for in excess of €175m equating to an initial yield of approximately 6.5%.

The National Portfolio comprises five retail parks spread-over 1.1m sq ft.

With Christmas fast approaching, Northern Ireland’s commercial property market has had a buoyant year, with several major deals still likely to complete before year end.

Ulster Bank’s Bloomfield shopping centre and retail park in Bangor is due to complete imminently; it was placed on the market with a guide price of £54m, which would reflect a net initial yield of 7.75%.

CoStar News understands that Junction One and The Outlet – two large retail parks brought to the market by Ulster Bank for in the region of £60m – are also under offer.

Already this year: Fairhill Shopping Centre in Ballymena was sold to Rockspring for more than £45m, the Showgrounds Retail Park in Omagh, was acquired by Pradera and Tristan Capital for £27m, and Lisnagelvin Retail Park in Londonderry acquired by M&G for £16.75m

Other notable investment transactions that have happened in 2015 include the sale of 35-47 Donegall Place, the sale of Valley Retail Park, Tesco Express and Urban Pharmacy on the Dublin Road and Lisburn Square.

Savills, who acted for Bank of Ireland, declined to comment. Bank of Ireland also declined to comment.

cborland@costar.co.uk

About CoStar News

Finance Editor, CoStar News
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