Friday, December 16, 2016

They never went away

Irish Times --

Horse-racing tycoons John Magnier and JP McManus have sold an office and retail building on Place Vendome in Paris to Norway’s oil-rich sovereign wealth fund for €1 billion. The duo bought the Vendome Saint-Honoré property in 2007 for €650 million from Hammerson plc and Axa’s real estate management unit. They subsequently spent a considerable sum refurbishing the building.

It's as if the Irish property implosion never happened. The breathless reporting of megadeals, the oil money customers, the description of Magnier and McManus line of business as horse-racing, the lack of curiosity about how two individuals with only a stud farm between them (in the Irish mythology) could be dealing in this kind of cash, the blasé references to offshore corporate structures, and the obsession with prestige properties. They flew the tricolour over Place Vendome. The rest of the country went broke.

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