Fine Grain Property, the Irish-owned business park operator and investor, has announced an agreement to purchase the 40-acre Westpark business campus in Shannon from Westpark Shannon Ltd. for in excess of €50m.
The business campus, established in 2005, is home to some 50 companies and 2,000 employees, and has planning permission in place for a further 300,000 sqft of tailored office space.
The acquisition, one of the biggest in the Irish business park sector to date, adds global names in aircraft leasing, financial services, and logistics – including GECAS, Aercap, Arista, Enterprise Ireland, Pepper, and DHL – to Fine Grain Property’s client list, which already includes giants such as Ericsson, Northern Trust, Aviva, Xperi, QAD, and Cook Medical.
It brings to €175m the total investment by Fine Grain Property over the past three years to acquire 15 properties in Galway, Athlone, Limerick, Dublin and Cork, during which time the company has demonstrated that it has both the funding and the skills, working closely with IDA Ireland, to deliver tailored workplace solutions to its clients as they expand and grow.
Westpark business campus, ideally located next to Shannon Airport (and around two hours from Dublin Airport), offers global connectivity and the high-quality facilities and surroundings that businesses and their employees expect. Fine Grain Property is purchasing all of Westpark business campus except for one building which is owned and occupied by Axa insurance.
Colin MacDonald, CEO and founder of Fine Grain Property, sees the acquisition of Westpark business campus as an extension of Fine Grain Property’s focus on creating workspaces tailored to client needs. Mr MacDonald said: “This deal is Fine Grain Property’s largest to date and it demonstrates the value that the Mid-West offers both employers and business park operators. The acquisition of Westpark business campus adds to our existing portfolio of 200,000sqft of office space across four buildings in the National Technology Park in Plassey, Limerick.
“Our business is all about people – creating good workplace communities which help companies with recruitment, retention and employee satisfaction. Around 70 percent of new FDI investment in Ireland comes from foreign multinationals already located here – and Fine Grain Property meets the needs of both international and domestic companies by providing the right mix of excellent facilities, access to trained people, and close proximity to educational institutions, critical infrastructure, and like-minded employers.
“Westpark Shannon business campus has been designed and managed by a dedicated team, with the needs of businesses and their employees in mind, and that makes it a great addition to our offering to growing businesses across Ireland. The fact that planning permission is already in place and that the site is ‘shovel ready’ for another sizeable tranche of office space, which we will develop in line with our clients’ needs, means that it also presents a considerable long-term opportunity for us.”
Westpark business campus was established and developed by Westpark Shannon Limited’s Principals, Brian & Bridget O’Connell.
Announcing the agreement of the sale Brian O’Connell said: “Our vision was to build a world class business park at this pivotal location in the Mid-West to attract high calibre global and Irish businesses across a range of sectors. The fact that we realised this vision, and built a sustainable profitable business, is a testament to our customers, our management and staff and more importantly, the flexible facilitation of our product offering.
“I am delighted that an owner, the calibre of Fine Grain Property, is acquiring the Westpark business campus because I know that they will build on existing achievements and sustain and evolve the standards expected by current and prospective tenants. I have no doubt that, under their ownership, the campus will continue to attract serious international and domestic investment into the region.”