Friday 21 July 2017

Mulryan's UK directors paid €230,000 last year

Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

BOSSES at NAMA borrower Sean Mulryan's UK unit were paid €230,000 last year, despite the company having debts of more than €1.2bn.

Accounts just filed for UK-registered Ballymore Properties Holdings show it paid the cash to directors in the year to the end of March 2011.

Developer Mr Mulryan is one of the three directors of the company. He is also reckoned to be one of NAMA's biggest debtors.

The payout was made after NAMA signed off on a seven-year business plan for the borrower.

The news is sure to anger many who would like to see heavily indebted developers stripped of all income from NAMA-backed firms.

NAMA declined to comment on the case, but a source at the bad bank said the agency was comfortable with the pay issue.

"NAMA does not pay directors, there are a number who are implementing NAMA-approved business plans who are taking salaries from their companies," the source said.

NAMA has long argued that even if such salaries are unpalatable, the best outcome for taxpayers comes when developers successfully implement business plans, and pay off their loans.

The agency reckons that allowing borrower companies to pay even six-figure sums to executives is almost always cheaper than appointing receivers, as long as the developers stick to their agreed business plan. NAMA is similarly hands-off when it comes to sums that continue to be owed by Ballymore's UK unit to Mr Mulryan, and companies linked to the developer.

Accounts for the UK business show that Mr Mulryan is personally owed £367,000 (€437,874) by the business. Other related companies are owed £8.8m, including £1.1m owed to Isle of Man based RQB (Isle of Man).

The accounts filed in the UK show that NAMA is deeply involved in Ballymore. The agency has signed off on the business plan submitted by the borrower. Under that deal Ballymore is making substantial cuts in the amount it owes the lender, thanks to asset sales.

The company's debts to NAMA and other banks were cut from £1.2bn to £1.1bn over the year, according to the accounts. It's a modest fraction but still a €100m debt reduction. Recent asset sales mean the rate of loan repayment is likely to have picked up since the accounts were filed.

Since then Ballymore has sold a hotel in the London dockland for £37.5m, and a stake in Wood Wharf for £38m.

Irish Independent

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