Tuesday 23 June 2009

Coillte eyes property development

The company controls 7 per cent of all land in the country, and is now seeking to partner with property developers and building firms to develop projects.

Coillte has issued a tender inviting proposals from property companies and intends to set up a panel of potential partners, which it will draw from for individual projects.

According to tender documents, the company is interested in a full range of potential projects, including residential developments, schools, health centres and creches. Coillte also lists utility developments such as waste water facilities and energy projects as potential enterprises.

Tourism projects, leisure developments and sports facilities will also be considered.

Gerry Egan, group director of corporate affairs at Coillte, said the forestry company had applied for and received planning permission for various once-off developments in recent years. He said it now intended to ‘‘formalise’’ its approach to property projects to get the best value.

‘‘We are constantly being approached by individual developers about specific projects. We felt it would be a good idea to control it in a formal basis,” according to Egan.

He said the Coillte tender was ‘‘testing the market’’ to see what projects would be proposed. ‘‘We are looking for people to come and talk to us, and we are setting up a formal structure to allow this to happen,” he said. Coillte has annual revenues of about €250 million, but recently warned the government that it expects to make a loss this year.

It is expected to cut jobs from its workforce of 1,200 people, after suffered from the downturn in residential property construction and the weakness of sterling.

Sunday Business Post


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