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Sunday 21 September 2014

Court grants NAMA €77m order against Crosbie over loan debts

Tim Healy

Published 28/06/2014 | 02:30

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Harry Crosbie
Harry Crosbie

THE High Court has ruled that NAMA is entitled to €77m summary judgment orders against businessman Harry Crosbie.

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Mr Justice David Keane found yesterday that Mr Crosbie had failed to show any reasonable prospect of a genuine defence to the NAMA claim that would entitle him to a full court hearing on the matter.

In those circumstances, he ruled NAMA was entitled to summary judgment but adjourned final orders for a week to let the sides consider his ruling.

NAMA moved to enforce the €77m loans after Mr Crosbie (pictured) failed to disclose substantial assets to the agency when first asked to do so, the Commercial Court was told during the summary judgment application last month.

A letter sent by solicitors for NAMA in August 2012 said full and complete disclosure was a requirement of NAMA's January 2012 Memorandum of Understanding with Mr Crosbie and his "lack of candour" in dealings with NAMA was "simply not acceptable", especially when Mr Crosbie and related companies collectively owed NAMA more than €420m.

NAMA was terminating the memorandum, reserving all its rights and wanted Mr Crosbie to take various steps, including resigning directorships of companies and sell various properties, the letter said.

Mr Crosbie argued NAMA was effectively trying to bankrupt him and it was not entitled to summary judgment.

He argued NAMA was bound by an agreement set out in a letter of August 24, 2012, relating to management and disposal of assets and liabilities of Mr Crosbie and companies connected with him.

NAMA obtained some €35m from the sale of assets under that agreement but was now seeking to resile from aspects of that agreement, he said.

That alleged agreement was the basis for Mr Crosbie's defence to summary judgment and, he argued, on foot of it he was entitled to a full plenary hearing. Mr Crosbie also rejected claims by NAMA that he misled it as to whether he had unencumbered assets.

Disclosure

In his judgment, Mr Justice Keane found the letter could not be construed as establishing a reasonable prospect of a bona fide defence to the claim for summary judgment.

The letter could not be read as meaning NAMA had relinquished its entitlement to call in the loans or to seek a money judgment, he said.

NAMA's claim arises from personal debts of €55m of Mr Crosbie and his guarantees of the liabilities of Shoal Trading Ltd and Ossory Park Management Ltd (OPML). The agency took over AIB loans of Mr Crosbie and his companies in 2010.

Irish Independent

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