Business Irish

Saturday 21 October 2017

Chairman Joe Moran's interest-free €1.5m IFG loan is causing 'no issue'

Roisin Burke

A DEBT of €1.5m owed to IFG by a company controlled by IFG chairman Joe Moran is not affected by the debts of Mr Moran's Manor Park Homebuilders, which is to be liquidated.

IFG confirmed that it is owed €1.5m by Rayband, a company majority-owned by Mr Moran with IFG holding a stake. "These advances are unsecured, interest free and have no fixed repayment date," an IFG interim report states, adding "Rayband Limited is controlled by Patrick Joseph Moran, a director of IFG Group plc."

Estholme, a Moran-owned company, holds 65 per cent of Rayband, while IFG owns the remaining 35 per cent. Rayband's asset is an 18-acre plot of land in Lissenhall, near Swords, Co Dublin.

Mr Moran's Manor Park was recently ordered to wind up by the High Court, over debts of €135m owed to Bank of Scotland. The court ordered a liquidator to be appointed.

"Manor Park has no effect whatsoever on Rayband," Mr Moran told the Sunday Independent. "It is a standalone company with no guarantees to the bank," adding that the Rayband loan "is causing no issue."

IFG's chief executive Mark Bourke said that the standing arrangement is that the debt will be repaid when the lands are sold.

"The debt is completely confined," said Mr Bourke. "Whether Estholme didn't have a penny or was loaded it would make no difference to our position. We get paid and he gets paid on crystallisation. We don't have any dependence on it."

There are no plans to sell the land in the current climate, Mr Moran said.

Mr Bourke said that even though land valuations had come down massively, the Rayband land has been recently valued by IFG and is "worth enough to cover our exposure."

Earlier this year the Mahon Tribunal found that Rayband had made an "entirely inappropriate" IR£20,000 payment to a Fine Gael councillor while trying to have the land rezoned.

Rayband also paid IR£28,000 to disgraced lobbyist Frank Dunlop for services in relation to getting planning on the land in the Nineties.

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