Published on 8 July, 2007. By John Reynolds
BILLIONAIRE Dr Martin Naughton, chairman of Glen Dimplex has emerged as one of the high rollers backing property tycoon Derek Quinlan.
Speaking to the Sunday Independent as he announced plans to build a global energy centre in Dunleer, Co. Louth earlier this week, 67 year-old Naughton – one of the country’s richest men – confirmed he is an investor in Quinlan Private’s €7bn fund.
“I’ve done a couple of things with Derek and I’m invested in various Quinlan funds, but I wasn’t involved in the London deal,” he said.
Quinlan has just added HSBC’s Canary Wharf building in London’s docklands to his global property empire.
Last month Quinlan’s group paid €1.165bn for the Jurys Inns budget hotel division of the Jurys Doyle Hotel Group.
In April it led a group of investors to pick up 47 Marriott Hotels in the UK for a cool €1.6bn, while it also owns Four Seasons hotels in Dublin, Prague and Budapest.
The property mogul and his army of investors have bought up Spanish and German shopping centres, Eircom’s new €190m headquarters near Heuston Station and a swathe of other commercial and residential properties across Europe and North America.
Lucrative personal investments aren’t the only moneyspinner for Naughton.
Sales of Glen Dimplex heat pumps have rocketed from €10m to €150m in the past three years and it now has the lion’s share of the European market.
The firm’s super-efficient pumps will be showcased in the €2.5m energy centre, along with solar panels and various renewable materials.
Perhaps in a bid to help China – now the world’s biggest polluter – improve its environmental credentials, 400 Glen Dimplex pumps are on their way to the 2008 Olympics village in Beijing.
Naughton is also currently dealing with his own environmental issues. “Our Morphy Richards factory in Yorkshire, northern England is currently under six feet of water,” he said.