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Bidders For Blanchardstown Centre Set €550M Value As Goldman Sachs Prepares Sale

Bidders for Blanchardstown are understood to have offered around €550M.

Six investors are understood to have submitted first-round offers for the huge west Dublin-based Blanchardstown Centreaccording to The Irish Times.

Bids have valued the scheme at around €550M, which is €200M less than Goldman Sachs paid to acquire the Blanchardstown Centre from U.S. private equity giant Blackstone in late 2020, The Times reported.

The proposed disposal of the scheme was understood originally to have had a guide price of €650M-€725M when it first came to market last summer, with Eastdil Secured and CBRE handling the sales process.

Bidders for Blanchardstown Centre include UBS, Hines, Northwood Investors, developer Marlet Property Group, a subsidiary of Starwood Capital, and investment and property development company Sretaw, which last year completed two retail acquisitions from Iput for Victoria’s Secret’s Grafton Street flagship store and the Lower Baggot Street Tesco store for €28M and €12M, respectively.

It more recently purchased the Jacobs Engineering headquarters at Merrion House and the Chancery building in Dublin 8.

Despite attracting 16 million people annually and with a catchment of 1.9 million people, the third sale of Blanchardstown Centre in around eight years has seen its value fall by potentially around €400M.

In 2016, Blackstone paid €950M for the Blanchardstown Centre from Stephen Vernon’s Green Property, making it the most valuable sale of a single property in the state's history.

By August 2020, Blackstone was reportedly prepared to surrender control if a debt deal with its lenders could not be reached following the impact of the pandemic.

In late 2020, it had sold to Goldman Sachs for around €750M in a deal believed to have been financed with €250M of equity, with the balance a mix of senior debt and mezzanine financing provided by a lending syndicate that reportedly included Morgan Stanley, AIG, Allied Irish Banks and Goldman Sachs.

However, AIB agreed to sell its debt slice to London-based Hayfin Capital Management at around 83 cents on the euro, representing a nearly €30M markdown on its €175M loan.

The 1.1M SF Blanchardstown Centre consists of over 180 shops. It is anchored by retailers such as Dunnes Stores, Penneys, Aldi, Hollister, Mango, Marks & Spencer, a nine-screen Odeon cinema, two external retail parks, external retail units, eBay's HQ and 7,000 free parking spaces.

The scheme was strengthened after the 9K SF Debenhams was replaced by fashion retailer Zara and Flannels, while Nike’s 10K SF debut Unite store in Ireland replaced the sportswear giant’s factory store at the adjacent Westend Shopping Park.