Friday 23 June 2017

Luxurious Dylan Hotel racked up profit after €7m debt forgiven

Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

A Dublin hotel owned by Menolly Homs boss Seamus Ross made profits of €5m in 2009, but only after a €7m debt was forgiven.

In fact, the luxurious Dylan Hotel in Dublin 4 made an operating loss of €1.1m in 2009, according to accounts just filed with the Companies Office.

The hotel was able to record a "profit" for the year after another Seamus Ross-owned company forgave a €7m debt owed by the hotel.

The debt was owed to Menolly Homes, a major construction company owned by Mr Ross. The accounts show the debt forgiveness was one element of a complicated set of transactions between firms in the Menolly Group.

The hotel paid rent of more than €1m to Mr Ross in 2009, as well as a management fee of €150,000 to Menolly Homes, which is a client of NAMA.

Mr Ross in turn transferred €900,000 to Menolly Homes. A €1.69m loan the Dylan owed to Menolly Construction was also transferred to Menolly Homes.

The transactions highlight the complexity of the work NAMA has in getting to grips with what assets and liabilities developers ultimately have.

Mr Ross was among the most high-profile developers during the boom, focused largely on building new houses.

He is well known in sports and horse-racing circles and the Menolly Group was a one-time sponsor of racing at Fairyhouse.

Mr Ross's companies were behind the construction of 20,000 houses and apartments over the past 20 years.

He was one of the so-called 'Anglo 10' group of developers that the bank loaned money to in order to buy Sean Quinn's shares in Anglo Irish Bank. The loans for Anglo shares were only secured on the shares themselves, leaving borrowers owing nothing and the bank with massive losses when the shares were wiped out.

Even with so much of its debt written off, the Dylan Hotel is dependent on a "key lender" to remain in operation, the accounts state.

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