Business

As Facebook expands, it stands to gain from Ireland’s banking downfall

Bank of Ireland
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Bloomberg is reporting that Facebook is looking to significantly expand its operations in Ireland – and could even benefit from Ireland’s banking downfall as it selects more office space in the capital city.

Bank of Ireland
Could this be Facebook's new Dublin HQ...?

Bloomberg reports, quoting three anonymous sources, that Facebook is looking to acquire over 120,000 square feet (over 11,000 square meters) of office space in Dublin City over the next five years.   This would more than double the company’s footprint in Ireland and would come as the social network prepares to make an initial public offering that could value the company at over $10bn.

The sources say that Facebook is looking at a number of available spaces, including some buildings near the city’s South Docklands, where its office is currently situated.

While the Docklands move is more likely Bloomberg also reports that the social network is considering moving into “the former Bank of Ireland headquarters.”  BoI has two former headquarters in Dublin; the first, and least likely, is the historic College Green, building which was constructed in the 1730s to house the Irish Parliament under British rule; it was sold to the Bank of Ireland in 1802.  BoI, which was bailed-out by the Irish tax payer, by over €7bn in the past three years, sill owns the building but has come under pressure from the government to release it; the second, more likely candidate, is located on Baggot Street,  and was built in the 1970s.  It was in use as the bank’s HQ until 2010.

Since 2008 Facebook has occupied over 16,000 square feet (5,000 square meters) in Dublin where it’s European Headquarters are based.  The offices in Dublin manage Facebook’s customer services for all users outside of North America.

With Facebook expecting to pass 1 billion users by the end of the summer the company’s expansion will probably be used to cater for this growth.  Currently Facebook has over 80 jobs in Dublin listed on its careers website, the majority of which are in the sales and user management departments.

If Facebook’s deal goes ahead, regardless of which building it acquires, it will be the third significant property move by a technology firm in Dublin in less than a year.  In February 2011 Google purchased two buildings near its already significant Dublin Headquarters on Barrow Street, not far from Facebook’s current HQ.  These purchases included The Montevetro, Ireland’s largest commercial building, for a deal reported to be in the region of €99.9 million from NAMA, the Irish Government’s toxic bank. Facebook will probably be looking to make a similar deal in its negotiations.

In September Google also announced it will construct a data centre on an 11-acre site near Clondalkin, Dublin.   The total cost of this construction has been placed at €75 million.

Twitter, which announced in September that it’s to establish a base in Dublin, has yet to confirm where its office will be located although it is already seeking staff.

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Piers Dillon Scott
Piers Dillon-Scott is co-editor of The Sociable and writes about stuff he finds. He likes technology, media, and using the Oxford comma (because it just makes sense).