NAMA appoints CB Richard Ellis as receivers to Updown mansion
Plans to seek a buyer after Irish Nationwide took a charge on the property
Published 23/08/2011 | 05:00
NAMA has finally moved to appoint a receiver to Updown Court in Surrey, once the UK's most expensive house and funded by loans from Irish Nationwide.
NAMA has appointed CB Richard Ellis as receivers to the property. They will now try to sell the Surrey mansion, after Irish Nationwide took a charge on the property back in 2002.
The most expensive country house ever put on the UK market hit the headlines last month when news filtered out that no buyers had been located for the mansion and NAMA was preparing to take enforcement action.
The 103-room Updown Court, which has five swimming pools, was an Irish Nationwide joint venture and the building society lent £63m (€71m) to the project over several years.
Irish Nationwide once held a board meeting there, it has also emerged.
Apart from the five swimming pools, the property also has a bowling alley, a cinema and an indoor squash court.
It failed to sell in 2005 for a price tag of £70m (€80m) -- at the time the most expensive UK residence ever. It is understood NAMA may only need to sell Updown Court for £20m (€22.5m) to make a return, after it imposed a severe discount on the original loan.
The house's developer, Leslie Allen-Vercoe, was not personally liable for any of the debts and his only role in the project in the last year was to find a buyer.
It is understood one British, one Russian and one Far East buyer had come forward.
Mr Allen-Vercoe said that if NAMA decided to appoint a receiver, it would be against the interests of Irish taxpayers as stamp-duty tax advantages could be lost.