McCanns partners cash in on site sale

Equity partners at Dublin’s McCann FitzGerald could be in line for a multimillion-euro windfall after completing a sale and leaseback of its new premises at Grand Canal Docks.

The final payout, reported to be between €28m (£18.8m) and €35m (£23.5m), will depend on how the firm kits out the inside of the new building as well as how quickly McCanns can assign the lease of its current premises.

The firm has 20 years to run on its lease for its headquarters in the International Financial Services Centre (IFSC). There are no break clauses and McCanns signed the deal at the top of the property market.

However, the firm has grown and needs to relocate. Its €12.5m (£8.4m) cut-price purchase of the Grand Canal Docks site was a clever method of hedging any loss it might incur when re-assigning the IFSC lease.

How much profit partners make will depend on how easy it is to get rid of the IFSC building. When the profits are realised they will be distributed among the firm’s equity partners.

McCanns senior partner Ronan Moloney said: “The way we have structured the deal was to maximise the value of our own covenant for the benefit of the firm and to enable it to achieve a high-quality working environment.”

McCanns has signed a deal with developer, the Quinlan Partnership, for the Grand Canal Docks building, which is on the south side of the river, but opposite PricewaterhouseCoopers and rival Dublin firm A&L Goodbody.