Thursday 22 March 2018

Accountant leading IBRC review was Siteserv liquidator

Liquidator Kieran Wallace
Liquidator Kieran Wallace
Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

THE same senior accountant who was in charge of distributing the controversial €4.96m paid to former shareholders of Siteserv in 2012 is being appointed to review the sale of the company, and other IBRC deals, the Irish Independent has confirmed.

As Siteserv PLC's liquidator in 2012, KPMG accountant Kieran Wallace was in charge of making a €4.96m payment to the company's former shareholders and settling other bills.

That was prior to, and separate from, his role as special liquidator of Irish Bank Resolution Corp (IBRC).

A political controversy around the sale of Siteserv - in fact a sale of the company's trading assets - flared up this week prompted in particular by the fact that shareholders of the company were paid some of the €45m received for the business even though State-owned lender IBRC suffered a €105m loss when it was sold, prompting the planned review. The money was paid to shareholders with the agreement of IBRC. The old Siteserv PLC parent company was liquidated following the sale.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan said on Thursday that a special review of the sale of Siteserv and other deals worth more than €10m involving IBRC would be carried out by Kieran Wallace and Eamonn Richardson, who are both partnerS at KPMG.

On Monday they are expected to be formally appointed to review more than 40 deals connected to IBRC.

The two men have been the Government-appointed special liquidators of IBRC since February 2013, and as such are already well acquitted with the issues involved, the minister said when he announced the review.

The Irish Independent has learned the KPMG team plans to put in place processes to deal with any perceived conflicts that arise during the review.

Papers filed with the Companies Registration Office (CRO) confirm that Kieran Wallace had an earlier involvement with Siteserv, when he was appointed in July 2012 to liquidate what remained of the business following the sale of its main assets to Millington, a company backed by businessman Denis O'Brien, the previous March.

Mr Wallace was not involved in the sale of Siteserv but as liquidator he paid its former shareholders their €4.96m share of the sale proceeds on August 27 2012, according to company papers.

Six months later, Mr Wallace and Eamonn Richardson were appointed as special liquidators of IBRC.

This was after the Government moved to shut the former bank as part of a series of transactions that ultimately aimed at scrapping the so-called Anglo Irish Bank promissory notes, an IOU that had been used to bail out the former Anglo Irish Bank.

A source close to the situation said that as liquidator Mr Wallace's role at Siteserv began only after the sale of the former stock market listed company's assets.

As liquidator, he would have helped tidy up the company's remaining affairs, including settling its bills.

Irish Independent

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