Return to search

Irish Infra Fund wins Convention Centre concession

The fund, which is managed by Irish Life and AMP Capital, has been named preferred bidder for the Convention Centre Dublin concession contract.

The Irish Infrastructure Fund (IIF), which is managed by Irish Life Investment Managers (ILIM) and Australia-headquartered fund manager AMP Capital, has been named preferred bidder for a concession contract for the Convention Centre Dublin (CCD).

As well as operating and maintaining the CCD, the contract also covers a long-term lease of a 321-space car park underneath the building as well as a licence to build and operate a 330-bed hotel adjacent to it.

Developed as a public-private partnership (PPP) with the Irish government, the state-owned CCD building is operated under a concession that has 21 years remaining. It allows the licensee to collect a performance-based payment for the proper maintenance and operation of the building as well as trading revenue from events hosted at the CCD. The car park and hotel are designed to enhance the attractiveness of the CCD as a conference venue.

A statement from the IIF said the CCD has been trading profitably since starting operations in September 2010 and recently hosted its 1,000th event.

IIF was launched in 2012 by ILIM, which is Ireland’s largest domestic pension fund manager, and includes the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (formerly the National Pensions Reserve Fund) as a cornerstone investor. The fund is still in the market, seeking to raise more than €500 million from Irish and global institutional investors.

AMP Capital, which manages IIF alongside ILIM, has convention centre experience through its management of an investment in the Darwin Convention and Exhibition Centre in Australia.

AMP Capital head of origination for Europe, Simon Ellis, said the CCD deal combined “robust long-term cash yields and growth potential from an increasingly favourable economic outlook during the next few years”.

The deal is expected to complete during the coming months subject to consents from the Office of Public Works (on behalf of the state), the senior lenders and others including the Competition Authority.

The sale process was managed by Rubicon Infrastructure Advisers, the Dublin and New York-based infrastructure advisory firm.