Harland and Wolff owner sells docks interest

The Norwegian owner of Belfast’s troubled Harland and Wolff shipyard is selling off its interests in 185 acres of former shipbuilding land for nearly £50m (€71m) it was announced tonight.

The Norwegian owner of Belfast’s troubled Harland and Wolff shipyard is selling off its interests in 185 acres of former shipbuilding land for nearly £50m (€71m) it was announced tonight.

Fred Olsen Energy has agreed terms with a European property development company for the sale of its share of the Titanic Quarter for £47m (€70m).

The river-front area on the edge of central Belfast is being developed as a home to hi-tech companies, a planned science institute and private housing.

Titanic Quarter is jointly owned by the Belfast Harbour Commissioners – which retains rights over the land – and Fred Olsen Energy.

What Olsen Energy has sold is development rights to the site which expire in 27 years’ time in 2030, it is understood.

The Norwegian company announced before last Christmas that it needed to raise cash and would be selling non-core assets to do so.

Details of the sale were released by Fred Olsen Energy to the Norwegian stock exchange today.

Brian Lavery, Director of international property consultants Insignia Richard Ellis Gunne’s Belfast office, stated: “The potential of this transaction will prove beneficial for ongoing development of Titanic Quarter in association with the Belfast Harbour Commissioners.

“The introduction of a development partner is a major boost for urban regeneration in Belfast on this extensive, unique waterfront site”.

Final agreements in accordance with the Heads of Terms are expected to be signed in the third quarter of the year, with the deal completed by the end of the year.

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