independent

Saturday 19 April 2014

Anglo deal was 'catastrophic', claims Glen Dimplex boss

THE boss of electrical giant Glen Dimplex has alleged the former Anglo Irish Bank missold a German property fund to him as an investment, resulting in "catastrophic losses".

Sean O'Driscoll, the company's CEO and chairman, says his €500,000 investment now stands at just €88,000.

Mr Justice Peter Kelly made directions yesterday for a consolidated hearing in the Commercial Court of his claim, with three other actions by Mr O'Driscoll over other Anglo funds.

A fifth action, related to an Anglo fund involving New York hotels, is not being pursued by Mr O'Driscoll after the Supreme Court rejected businessman Gerard McCaughey's case over that fund.

A separate action by Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC), formerly Anglo, seeking some €1.8m from Mr O'Driscoll arising from loans he used to make the investments, will be heard later.

In his four actions against IBRC and IBRC Assurance Company Ltd, Mr O'Driscoll alleges he has suffered losses of some €5m due to alleged misrepresentation of the various funds.

The action transferred to the Commercial Court yesterday relates to a German retail property fund – the Anglo Taurus Retail Geared Property Fund.

Mr O'Driscoll said he borrowed €500,000 from Anglo in 2007 to invest in the fund, created to generate a profit from the "perceived robustness" of the German commercial property market but which "performed disastrously" in the wake of the global recession.

In an affidavit, Mr O'Driscoll said he was an experienced businessman and "sophisticated investor" who accepted not every investment could be successful and who was prepared to accept losses if they were warranted.

He considered, having reviewed the Taurus fund with his advisers, that the fund was missold to him as an investment and was also negligently managed by the defendants.

In its action against Mr O'Driscoll, of Granville Road, Blackrock, Co Dublin, IBRC is seeking judgment for €1.8m over his alleged failure to fully repay loan facilities of April 2009 related to the Woolgate Exchange Geared Property Fund, the Newbury Street Fund and the Anglo Taurus Retail Geared Property Fund.

Mr O'Driscoll has lodged €1.8m with the court to meet that claim if necessary.

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