Dublin gasometer scheme adds fuel to Kennedy Wilson’s investment drive

US investor/manager Kennedy Wilson and its client Fairfax Financial bought a Dublin residential investment this month. Kennedy Wilson, which has also topped the bids for Lloyds’ Project Prince portfolio of Irish loans, paid €40m in cash for Dublin’s Alliance Building.

The price equates to a 6.3% net income yield on the 210 apartments, said Fergus O’Farrell, a director of Savills, which advised vendor Grant Thornton, acting as receiver for RBS subsidiary Ulster Bank.

“We had more than 10 bids, most from UK, European, Asian and US investors,” he said. Savills predicted that Irish investment volumes will jump this year, to €500m-€750m, from an all-time low base last year. Kennedy Wilson has interests in more than 14,000 flats and homes in the US, Japan and Ireland, including deals under contract.

The Alliance Building is a converted former gasometer and is part of the Gasworks estate, which includes Google’s European HQ. Joy McAdam of RBS’s Ulster Bank global restructuring group said the sale showed “that large international buyers are confident to invest in Ireland”.