Courts

Wednesday 20 August 2014

O'Reilly will sell family graveyard to meet debts of €22.6m

Dearbhail McDonald, Legal Editor

Published 27/05/2014 | 02:30

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Anthony O’Reilly
Anthony O’Reilly

Businessman Anthony O'Reilly has told AIB he will sell the church and graveyard on his Castlemartin Estate where his parents and two grandchildren are buried to meet debts of some €22.6m.

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The one-time billionaire, who now lives in the Bahamas, flew into Ireland yesterday to meet with his advisers after state-controlled AIB asked the Commercial Court to fast-track debt proceedings against Mr O'Reilly and two of his investment vehicles.

The former chief executive of Independent News and Media (INM), the publisher of the Irish Independent, has told AIB he will sell his entire Castlemartin Estate in Co Kildare consisting of "circa 750 acres of the finest stud land in Ireland".

In court papers, it was stated that a church and graveyard on Castlemartin had been excluded from security given to banks.

But Mr O'Reilly (78), who claims he has disposed of assets valued at more than €110m since 2011, said those lands would now be included in the Castlemartin sale.

Mr O'Reilly claims the proceeds of all his asset disposals have been used to reduce loans.

But AIB alleges that only €307,737 of the €110m – proceeds from the sale of a property it [AIB] requested – was used to discharge its debts.

He had also put on the market Shorecliffe House mews, cottage and lands in Glandore, Cork, and would agree a programme for disposal of certain shares in INM on which AIB's debt was secured.

His unencumbered assets include a shareholding in Fitzwilton Ltd controlled by Gilhome Ltd and he said he would discuss with the other shareholder the issue of a sale of part or all of the company, according to documents put before the court.

Other unencumbered assets included a cottage outside Castlemartin; two pensions of €1m each, of which only one could be cashed; and contents, valued at between €500,000 to €1m, of houses owned by him.

Yesterday, Mr O'Reilly's legal team told High Court judge Mr Justice Peter Kelly that there may be an opportunity to bring some matters to the attention of the court that may persuade it the normal summary judgment order should not be made.

Mr O'Reilly and two of his investment vehicles, Indexia Holdings and Brookside Investments, are being sued for almost €45m by AIB, which told Judge Kelly it had no option but to commence proceedings.

Agreements

Judge Kelly heard there had been two separate standstill agreements and Mr O'Reilly and his investment vehicles had been afforded every opportunity to reach an accommodation.

Mr O'Reilly is being sued for €22.6m after giving personal guarantees on a loan for personal investments, according to AIB. Cypriot-registered Indexia, the private investment vehicle that holds some of Mr O'Reilly's stake in INM, is being sued for some €18.5m.

€4.1m is being sought from Brookside, an Irish-registered company with an address at Castlemartin Stud Farm.

Irish Independent

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