Sean Gallagher, the high-profile former presidential candidate, Dragon and Sunday Independent columnist has raised over €25m to buy commercial property with the launch of his new Clyde Real Estate group.
Gallagher and his backers are seeking to tap into the huge demand for quality offices in Dublin and other parts of the country. The firm has just bought the Alcatel-Lucent complex in Blanchardstown, in the largest commercial property transaction in Ireland in the first quarter of 2015.
Clyde Real Estate has raised €25m from an unnamed US private equity player, as well as bank debt and founder equity to fund the purchase of properties, the Sunday Independent was told.
Gallagher has teamed up with telecoms magnate Colm Piercy, who runs European communications group Viatel, to buy office and commercial properties in Dublin, Carlow and Louth over the last year.
Piercy is one of the most successful telecoms entrepreneurs in the country. He merged his Digiweb business into Viatel in a €120m merger in 2013 and the expanded firm has become increasingly valuable. He is also an investor in the data centre sector.
“Clyde Real Estate is a business-led property venture that has been founded by experienced business builders,” said Gallagher. “Each of us has grown our own technology companies and we feel uniquely placed to understand the flexible and high specification accommodation needs of modern business,” he added.
“We are focused on acquiring substantial office and commercial properties which will be made available to meet the growing needs of indigenous Irish companies, corporates and multinational firms seeking to establish or expand their operations here,” explained Gallagher.
As well as buying the 300,000 sq ft Alcatel-Lucent building, Clyde Real Estate has also done a deal to acquire the landmark Braun facility in Carlow from multinational Procter & Gamble.
Gallagher says the company will develop this 30-acre site into a dedicated corporate and technology park for the South East. Clyde Real Estate is working on closing a number of other deals which will give it a portfolio of office and commercial space encompassing around 1 million square feet.
The company’s existing clients include well-known names such Citibank, Alcatel-Lucent, Viatel, Ask.com and Paragon Global Resources.
Clyde is in talks with a number of other private equity and institutional funders on financing further acquisitions after it beds down its first round of commercial property deals. It is likely to seek to raise a larger sum from backers for property buyouts in Ireland and overseas markets