Monday 27 March 2017

NAMA has yet to sign off on plan for Carroll portfolio

Laura Noonan

Laura Noonan

€3bn

Upper limit of what the top 10 developers each owe NAMA

DUBLIN developer Liam Carroll will soon be the only one of the National Asset Management Agency's top 10 borrowers without a signed-off business plan.

The Irish Independent has learned that NAMA has so far signed off on six business plans for the top 10, with another set to be finalised this week.

It is understood, however, that there is no business plan under consideration from Mr Carroll, since the bulk of his empire is in the hands of four receivers acting for various lenders.

NAMA is in the process of replacing those four receivers with a single receiver, who will then work with the 'bad bank' on the formulation of a business plan.

NAMA hopes to have the new receiver in place before Christmas, with the first assets from the Carroll empire expected to come on to the market early next year.

The move to appoint a single receiver facilitates the development of a Carroll business plan and also cuts back on the receivership costs, a strategy NAMA is pursuing across its portfolio.

It is understood that Mr Carroll's lieutenants John Pope and David Torpey will also assist in the assessment of the massive property portfolio which includes substantial projects in Dublin city.

This week's finality on the business plans for the top 10 borrowers -- who owe between €1bn and €3bn each -- comes five months after their loans were transferred over to NAMA.

Sources pointed to the "complexity" involved given the scale of the borrowers' activities and the multinational aspects of many of the cases, with borrowers like Ballymore and Treasury Holdings boasting assets that stretch across the globe.

All six approved plans are believed to include some form of additional borrowing for working capital and finishing out projects, triggering the need for extensive scrutiny from NAMA. The loans agency hopes to have business plans for the 22 next biggest borrowers completed by the first week in December, even though those loans only transferred in late August.

Pay

The update on the developers' business plans comes amid weekend reports of NAMA developers securing pay packages of up to €200,000 and exploiting tax loopholes that allow them to claim interest relief on interest that is not actually being paid.

Sources stressed that NAMA did not approve individual developers' pay packets, but rather approved the level of overall costs in a business, which then restricted remuneration levels.

Several developers are understood to be drawing no salaries at all, while very few are paying themselves more than €150,000, the Irish Independent understands.

Irish Independent

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