Los Angeles Business Journal

Kennedy Wilson Makes $1.8 Billion Irish Real Estate Deal

By Deborah Crowe Monday, October 24, 2011

Kennedy Wilson Holdings Inc. on Monday announced the purchase of a distressed commercial loan portfolio from Bank of Ireland for $1.8 billion.

The Beverly Hills real estate company, which in June acquired the bank’s real estate investment unit, said that on Friday it paid $1.4 billion for the first part of the portfolio, and it will pay for the remainder by the end of next month. Kennedy Wilson is making the acquisition with institutional partners.

“This is a landmark deal for Kennedy Wilson,” said Chief Executive William McMorrow in a statement. “Our new team in Europe played a significant role in this success and the closing adds to our already strong base of business in Europe.”

The portfolio assets are secured by “high quality” London-based office, multifamily and retail properties, the company stated. The deal will increase the estimated value of assets under its management to $12 billion.

Kennedy Wilson did not name its institutional partners in the deal, but reports listed Toronto insurer Fairfax Financial Holdings, Los Angeles investment management firm Capital Group Cos., New York buyout firm WL Ross & Co. and Boston financial services firm Fidelity Investments.

Shares were up 28 cents, or 2.5 percent, to $11.55 in midday trading on the New York Stock Exchange.