Matagorda 2 are spending £17m on Belfast's Odyssey Pavilion, but who are they?

Guy Hollis of Matagorda 2 (right) with Odyssey Trust chair Eric Porter (left)
Guy Hollis of Matagorda 2 (right) with Odyssey Trust chair Eric Porter (left)

A LITTLE known company called Matagorda 2 has just announced plans to invest £17 million in Belfast’s Odyssey complex, but who are they?

Set up in 2015, Matagorda 2 is an Isle of Man domiciled entity.

It acquired the 150-year lease for the Odyssey Pavilion during 2016.

The lease had belonged to Peter Curistan’s company Sheridan Millennium Ltd.

The west Belfast developer was a central figure in the construction of the Odyssey between 1998 and 2001.

But Sheridan Millennium entered administration in 2010, with around £70m reportedly owed to Anglo-Irish Bank. It’s understood the debt was acquired by Deutsche Bank as part of a portfolio of loans.

The pavilion went on the market for around £10m in 2012, but subsequent deals fell through.

Matagorda 2 entered the scene in 2016, submitting the first of two planning applications to redevelop the pavilion in 2017. It’s believed the Matagorda 2 deal was worth around £7.5m.

The Odyssey Trust Company remains the ultimate landlord of the entire facility.

Museums NI previously managed the running of the W5 science centre, while entertainment firm SMG previously ran the SSE Arena. The Odyssey Trust now runs both through its own commercial body, OML Belfast. The company also runs the Belfast Giants ice hockey team.

Chair of the Odyssey Trust, Eric Porter said the trustee company has to date enjoyed a good relationship with Matagorda and Deutsche Bank.

Consultant Guy Hollis, who represented Matagorda 2 at yesterday’s announcement, said while Matagorda 2 is not owned by Deutsche Bank, the German lender had supplied the finance for the redevelopment through the £17m loan.

“It’s an investment vehicle, which is backed by private equity and some private investors and Deutsche Bank is the funding partner,” he said.

“As in any development you need to get a bank to fund it, so we have a funding arrangement with them.”

Mr Hollis did not rule out whether Matagorda 2 would seek to sell on the asset following its investment.

“I can’t really say what their intention will be long term. This is the sort of asset that would normally go to a leisure fund,” he said.