Top-tier SuperValu store put in receivership
ONE of the country's flagship SuperValu stores has been placed in receivership by Bank of Scotland (Ireland) after its owner encountered financial difficulties related to a luxury golf resort in Northern Ireland.
Owned by businessman Jim Treacy for over 20 years, the SuperValu outlet in Churchtown, south Dublin, is understood to have been used as security for loans granted by Bank of Scotland (Ireland) for the development of the luxurious Lough Erne Hotel and Golf Resort in Co Fermanagh.
Cork-based Musgrave, which owns the SuperValu, Centra and Daybreak symbol brands in Ireland, has struck a deal with receivers KPMG to operate the store on an interim basis. Industry insiders say the store is probably the best-performing SuperValu outlet in Dublin and among the top five SuperValu operations in the country. It's likely it could fetch as much as €20m if sold by the receiver.
Most-recently filed accounts for Churchtown Super Valu -- the company behind the Dublin outlet -- show the firm made a pre-tax profit of just under €2m in the year to the end of June 2009.
A fresh mortgage with Bank of Scotland (Ireland) was secured on the premises in February this year.
A spokeswoman for Musgrave confirmed it was now operating the store and that all 135 jobs at the outlet were safe.
Sources said Mr Treacy (62) also owns a chemist and gourmet grocer adjacent to the SuperValu store, with the businesses thought to be turning over a combined €30m a year. A €4m revamp of the SuperValu outlet was completed last September.
The Churchtown SuperValu premises featured in Musgrave's annual report published last month.
"We've been here over 20 years and working all day every day to earn our place in the community, where we win over the big supermarkets. Being independent, we're agile compared to them. And that flexibility keeps us one step ahead," Mr Treacy says in the document.
Last week, KPMG was appointed by Bank of Scotland (Ireland) to the 600-acre Lough Erne Hotel and Golf Resort in Fermanagh, which Mr Treacy completed in 2007. It features a golf course designed by Nick Faldo and a 120-bedroom hotel.
Churchtown SuperValu is listed as a shareholder in Castle Hume Leisure, the firm that controls the Lough Erne resort.
Castle Hume Leisure had net debt totalling nearly €31m at the end of 2009. KMPG has said it plans to sell the resort as a going concern.
This week, Mr Treacy lashed out at Bank of Scotland's decision to appoint an administrator to the development.
"I brought this place up from absolutely nothing," he said. "I developed the site, brought in stars like Nick Faldo and Rory McIlroy and £20m of net borrowing is not a lot."