March 30, 2011
Israeli deal in Ireland could lead to more
An Israeli property company has struck a multi-million dollar deal in Ireland that could herald further Israeli involvement in the country.
Ravad is doubling its first major investment in Ireland in a deal worth $18.3 million. The Israeli firm, which is controlled by investor and dealmaker Igal Ahouvi, is paying about $9 million to acquire control of a retail property occupied by the British supermarket chain Tesco.
The deal increases Ravad’s stake in the property from 50 percent to 100 percent. Ravad bought the initial share last October for a reported $9.2 million, with the other half going to an unnamed buyer. Tesco, which sold the site, has agreed to lease back the property at about $1.4 million per year.
The investment puts Ravad at the center of the redevelopment of Roscrea, a provincial town about 75 miles southwest of Dublin that houses a manufacturing outlet for Taro, one of Israel’s leading drug makers.
A report in the Irish Times suggested that Ravad’s entry into the Irish market could encourage the Irish government to sell some of the $56 billion in property assets it has taken over from bankrupt Irish banks, creating opportunities for similar deals in the near future.
Ahouvi has close ties to the major Irish property development firm Quinlan Private, whose loans are controlled by the Irish government. Ahouvi and Quinlan bought 47 Marriott Hotels in a $1.75 billion joint venture in 2007.