Sale agreed on Liberty property

Liberty has confirmed to The Anglo-Celt that it has reached agreement on the sale of its former headquarters on the outskirts of Cavan Town.

As revealed by this newspaper back in January of this year, the HSE hoped to purchase the property for a sum believed to be just north of €2 million.

Talks has been ongoing since October last year, when the prospect of a deal was first mooted, and with the sale now agreed. Liberty itself has set the balling rolling on obtaining a new suite of offices in Cavan Town, providing a certain that the insurance giant is hoping to maintain a presence in the locality going forward.

The Celt has learned that HSE Estates are in the process of drawing up plans for the property, with the intention that the site will be developed as a new administration hub; while more advanced plans to locate an ambulance base there with easy access onto the N3 are being assessed.

Liberty stands to offload what had become a costly and increasingly under utilised asset following the company's migration to remote and hybrid working arrangements. The new office space is expected to be substantially smaller than the current building, will still be occupied by Liberty staff for several more months.

“We can confirm that Liberty’s office building on the Dublin Road in Cavan has gone sale agreed,” a spokesperson for Liberty informed the Celt this week. “The business remains committed to its Cavan operations and is in the final stages of securing a new office space in the locality, with the intention of moving into the new premises in the coming months.”

In December 2017, Lakeland Dairies purchased the furthest forward of the two former Quinn Direct buildings in Killygarry.

The bluechip agri-food firm is understood to have expressed an interest in purchasing the second former Quinn Direct building also, but a deal never materialised.

Boston-based Liberty completed the planned acquisition of the former Sean Quinn Irish insurance business as well as its HQ in Cavan and other offices in Dublin and Enniskillen in November 2011 for just €1.

Liberty’s Irish operation, which reportedly has more than 400 employees, was subsumed into Madrid-based Liberty Seguros in 2018, effectively making it a branch of the larger Spanish entity.

Last year (June) it was announced that Italian insurance giant Generali had agreed to buy Liberty’s businesses in Ireland, Spain and Portugal for around €2.3 billion, subject to regulatory approval.

With the latest property acquisition nearing completion, the HSE will likely relocate and centralise existing administration units from Cavan General to the new building to make way for the extensive redevelopment of the local acute hospital facility.