Business Irish

Thursday 17 January 2019

AIB seeks O'Reilly's Dromoland stake

Receivers have taken control of a 6.8pc stake in Dromoland Castle, owned by Dr Anthony O’Reilly
Receivers have taken control of a 6.8pc stake in Dromoland Castle, owned by Dr Anthony O’Reilly

Tim Healy

The Commercial Court has appointed receivers to take control and sell shares in Dromoland Castle, owned by businessman Dr Anthony O'Reilly, with an estimated net value of €1.9m.

Mr Justice Brian McGovern yesterday appointed Luke Charleton and Damien Murran of Ernst Young as joint receivers over the 8,216 ordinary shares in the luxury Dromoland Castle hotel, representing a 6.8pc stake.

It arises from AIB's continuing efforts to recover monies from a €22m High Court judgment against Dr O'Reilly and two of his investment vehicles in June 2014. The debt arose from a loan facility provided to Dr O'Reilly and guarantees he provided on separate facilities provided by the bank to Indexia Holdings and Brookside Investments.

Dr O'Reilly owes over €16m following the sale of assets including property and land at Shorecliffe House, Glandore, Co Cork, for €1.2m and a house at Castlemartin, Co Kildare, for which Indexia received €7.4m, the bulk of which went to AIB.Shares in Independent News and Media (INM) sold for €1.5m and further reduced the debt.

In May 2015, AIB got a charging order over the Dromoland shares which it says were held by the US bank BNY Mellon National Association.

In an affidavit, AIB's Eamonn Conneely says he believes BNY received substantial sums from the sale of Dr O'Reilly's Bahamas residence in 2016.

Mr Conneely says Dr O'Reilly had pledged the Dromoland shares to BNY but, once the Bahamian home was sold, that debt was repaid. It appears AIB now has first ranking charge over the Dromoland shares, he says. He believes BNY continues to control the O'Reilly shares and will be willing to deliver the share certificate to AIB if the court appoints receivers.

The application to appoint receivers was made by James Doherty SC, for AIB. It was not opposed and there was no appearance on Dr O'Reilly's behalf. As well as appointing the receivers, Mr Justice McGovern made orders directing BNY to deliver up the share certificate and entitling the receivers or AIB to receive payment of any unpaid dividends on the shares.

Irish Independent

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