Monday 25 September 2017

NAMA seizes the last of Mansfield's prized assets

Jim Mansfield outside Weston Aerodrome
Jim Mansfield outside Weston Aerodrome
Jim Mansfield in City West. Photo: Tony Gavin
PJ Mansfield on the day of his marriage to model Andrea Roche
Jim Mansfield Jnr with one-time girlfriend Katy French

Emmet Oliver and Donal O'Donovan

NAMA has seized the last of the major assets in developer Jim Mansfield's property empire with the flamboyant businessman now struggling under mountains of debt.

NAMA last night appointed a receiver to Mansfield's Weston Airport, six of his apartment blocks at Citywest and his Palmerstown House Estate, which includes a championship golf course. It is understood Mr Mansfield owes NAMA "tens of millions" on the assets.

The receiver, Kieran Wallace of KPMG, will now sell all three assets and if the proceeds don't clear the debt, the agency will then move to seize other Mansfield assets.

Contacted last night by the Irish Independent, Mr Mansfield said the receivership happened because NAMA wasn't happy with a plan put forward by him and his family. He said as far as he was concerned the receiver was only interested in the three assets.

"We gave them a plan a few weeks ago, they're weren't happy with it,'' he said.

He said he remained hopeful the impact on him wouldn't be too dramatic and he pointed out that the Weston airport would continue to operate as normal.

Mr Mansfield met a team from KPMG last night to discuss the operations of the three assets.

Mr Mansfield's wife Anne is believed to own the family home at Tassaggart, Saggart, following a transfer last year, but it is possible NAMA could seek to reverse this transaction.

Empire

The loss of Weston airport will deal a particular blow to Mr Mansfield, who has battled local objections to turn the airport into a location for executive jets and flight training.

Mr Mansfield had the main part of his empire, the Citywest complex, placed into receivership almost a year ago. Bank of Scotland (Ireland) took the step in order to recover €170m loaned to two companies.

In the current climate it will be difficult for Mr Mansfield and his family to pay down that level of debt, but with further problems at other companies, the burden could become impossible. If Mr Mansfield or his family gave personal guarantee to the original banks, virtually all his assets are up for grabs. It is understood Weston is not profitable enough at present to make any dent in the debts accumulated by Mr Mansfield, although the apartments are believed to be rented out. The financial position of the golf course is not known, but most courses have been experiencing difficulties.

The receiver's efforts to sell Weston Aerodrome are likely to be hampered by the earlier planning issues that have hampered the development of the site. Property sources say that efforts to sell the Citywest resort hotel are suffering because of unresolved planning issues hanging over parts of the development.

Mr Mansfield is just the latest in a line of businessmen having their assets placed in receivership. The developer and former tax inspector Derek Quinlan had his Irish assets placed in receivership recently.

Paddy Kelly also had a number of hotels placed in receivership in recent weeks. However, some developers have started to work with NAMA and appear to be safe from any enforcement action. For example, Treasury Holdings has signed a preliminary agreement with NAMA and no action is likely against developer Sean Mulryan either.

Irish Independent

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