Business Irish

Monday 25 September 2017

Receiver appointed to property company owned by Westlife star Shane Filan

Independent.ie reporters

WESTLIFE singer Shane Filan has failed in his bid to prevent a receiver being appointed to his property development company Shafin developments.

Ulster Bank has appointed KPMG as receiver to the property development company run by the Westlife singer and his brother Finbar.



Ulster Bank was one of several banks that funded the singer’s property speculations during the boom, as Filan and his firm bought up commercial and residential sites in Sligo and Leitrim.



Shafin Developments is understood to have borrowed millions from Ulster Bank and has debts in excess of €5 million. However, Filan who moved to the UK with his family earlier this year, had insisted that the firm would not go into receivership. His wife Gillian resigned as a director of the company shortly before the move to England.



The singer issued a statement via his solicitor last year stating: “They (the Filans) have strong commercially viable plans for all of their projects and are prepared for the eventual upturn in the economy. They are looking forward to the rest of 2011 and 2012 in a positive manner.”



Filan is believed to be in debt for up to €23m, according to well-placed financial sources.



The singer is reportedly in the process of cutting a deal with creditors by entering an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) in Britain.



Sources say he has employed a leading firm of London accountants and is currently negotiating financial arrangements with bank - including Ulster Bank and Bank of Ireland - as a way of avoiding bankruptcy.



An IVA is a way of having debt written off if existing assets are sold to raise money for creditors.



It is understood in financial circles that Filan is attempting to keep earnings from the impending Westlife farewell tour out of the current negotiations.



Louis Walsh confirmed to the Sunday Independent last month that the singer was about to start afresh.



"He's wiping the slate clean and starting over," said Walsh. "He is going to be fine.



"He has a massive solo deal in the pipeline and is going to be a massive, massive star.



"He is set to make millions from the Westlife farewell tour. They have sold out two dates at Croke Park -- that alone is huge -- and then he will make millions from the solo career too."



Sources say that the money-spinning Westlife farewell tour is set to net the band more than €12m.



And Filan is thrashing out a deal so that this and all future earnings will remain untouched by his creditors.



The 32-year-old -- who has sold 43 million records worldwide with Westlife, one of the biggest boy bands of all time -- is being sued by Bank of Ireland for unpaid debts.



Filan auctioned off his James Bond-style Aston Martin for €398,000 last September. He had bought it just two years earlier as a birthday present to himself.



Additional reporting Niamh Horan and Tom Lyons

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