Sunday 26 February 2017

Anglo sues for $45m over the purchase of Hollywood venue

John Mulligan

John Mulligan

AN iconic music venue in Hollywood that has played host to artists from Frank Sinatra to U2 is at the centre of a major legal row after Anglo Irish Bank sought to enforce the immediate repayment of a $45m (€34m) loan that was used to acquire the building in 2007.

In court proceedings filed in California, whose documents have been seen by the Irish Independent, Anglo Irish Bank claims that the joint-venture entity that bought the art-deco Hollywood Palladium has defaulted on loan repayments. The nationalised bank is demanding $45.7m in borrowings and interest.

Aggressive

The joint venture in question, CFRI-NCA Palladium Venture, is controlled by Connecticut-based Commonfund Realty Investors and a California company, Newport Capital Advisors. It bought the building in 2007 for an estimated $68m (€52m).

Anglo Irish Bank has filed its case against Commonfund Realty Investors, alleging that the company is liable for all the indebtedness of the joint-venture company that took on the loan, which was due to be repaid by April this year.

The state-owned bank, which has been aggressively pursuing a number of alleged loan defaulters in the US in recent months, claims in the complaint -- filed in a Los Angeles courthouse -- that repayments were not made on time on the $45m loan in October, November or December last year.

Live Nation, which is the world's largest concert promoter, agreed to lease the Hollywood Palladium site for 18 years from the CFRI-NCA joint venture, which spent over a year renovating the site at a cost of about $18m.

The company agreed to foot $10.5m of that renovation cost, with much of the remainder being paid for by Newport Capital Advisors.

Funds from Anglo Irish Bank were also used to part-finance the restoration work.

The Hollywood Palladium was opened in 1940 on a site previously occupied by Paramount Studios.

It was built by 'Los Angeles Times' publisher Norman Chandler and luminaries such as John F Kennedy and Martin Luther King spoke there in the 1960s. It was also briefly a television studio and hosted the Emmy and Grammy awards.

Among the musicians slated to play at forthcoming gigs at the venue are the Eighties rocker Billy Idol and Elton John.

Irish Independent

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