Ronan invests in €1.2m forestry funds
DEVELOPER Johnny Ronan has emerged as a major investor in forestry, with one of his companies holding assets in three separate forestry funds.
Mr Ronan's Ilderleaf has investments in Irish Forestry Holdings, Western Forestry Holdings and National Forestry Holdings, which were worth a combined total of €1.2m at the close of 2010, fresh accounts lodged for the company show.
Investing in privately owned forestry funds is becoming increasingly popular among investors and farmers, and the sector has performed far better over the last decade than conventional property investments.
While annual profits from the investments slipped in 2010, the company is sitting on accumulated profits of €533,519. In fact, the balance sheet is in better financial condition than many of Mr Ronan's property-related firms.
Ilderleaf is controlled by Mr Ronan and members of his family, who are listed as Conor Ronan and Pauline Ronan.
Mr Ronan is known to have a large number of private assets outside of Treasury Holdings, including a wine storage business and an equestrian company. Mr Ronan has stepped aside from the day-to-day activities of Treasury and its related company Real Estate Opportunities (REO), although he remains a shareholder and key figure in both firms, which he founded with Richard Barrett.
Both men have managed to work successfully with NAMA, which has signed a memorandum of understanding with Treasury and REO, which means the developer should reduce debt, meet certain targets and often sell off non-core assets.
REO is currently involved in crucial talks on bringing in an outside investor to its Battersea Power station project in London.