Sunday 21 January 2018

Noel Smyth: Last of British empire sold

Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

Receivers have agreed a sale of the final property in what was once solicitor Noel Smyth's 45-strong UK property empire.

Savills, acting as fixed charge receivers for bondholders, signed contracts for the sale of the £10m (€11.86m) Waterdale Shopping Centre in Doncaster in England, according to a note posted to the Irish Stock Exchange.

Savills was seeking around £10m for the property.

It was one of what had been a 45-strong portfolio of properties that had been secured on roughly £350m (€437m) in loan notes issued to bondholders that fell due in May 2012.

Receivers were appointed after bondholders rejected a proposal from Mr Smyth and US investor group Lone Star to buy out their claims at 50 cent in the euro.


Lenders had wanted between 60pc and 70pc.

Now the disposal of the last property in the portfolio means the complex commercial mortgage backed securitisation structure used to finance the one-time portfolio is now insolvent, the note said.

The final disposal will not be enough to cover remaining debts leaving the Irish lawyer-turned-developer empty handed.

A subset of 29 of the properties was sold to US investors Kennedy Wilson earlier this year for £62.75m.

Eleven further properties were sold between then and August and contracts have now been exchanged in relation to the final building in Doncaster.

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