Saturday 24 March 2018

Anglo cancels docklands HQ lease to shave €100m from rent payments

Joe Brennan

Anglo Irish Bank has shaved €100m off its future rent bill by cancelling its agreement to occupy the ignominious concrete shell in the Dublin docklands that was to become its headquarters.

The half-built structure has come to epitomise the implosion of both Anglo and developer Liam Carroll's Zoe Group, which owned the development.

Anglo's new chief executive Mike Aynsley signed off on documents in early February ending the bank's lease option on the seven-storey building on the north side of the Liffey.

The group's annual report, published during the week, notes that its termination of an existing agreement for lease "regarding a premises in North Wall Quay, Dublin" has slashed €101m off future rent payments.

The report shows that Anglo is still exposed to a minimum of €201m of future rental payments -- most likely driven by its existing headquarters on St Stephen's Green. It is believed Mr Aynsley may seek to move to a less high-profile head office.


But it is likely he will hold off on such a decision until the European Commission delivers its verdict on the bank's restructuring plan, which aims to split the group into an internal 'good' and 'bad' bank, with the latter wound down over a decade.

Earlier this week, Anglo revealed a €12.7bn net loss for the 15 months to the end of December, on the back of €15.1bn of bad-loan losses. The group required an €8.3bn bailout from the State to plug the hole in its balance sheet.

The overall cost of keeping Anglo afloat could rise to €22bn, Finance Minister Brian Lenihan said during the week.

Separately, it has emerged in the annual report that Anglo only has €173m of loans out to government-related entities -- relating entirely to its toxic exposure to the controversial Irish Glass Bottle site in Ringsend, Dublin.

The loan is out to a company called Becbay, a joint venture between the Dublin Docklands Development Authority and Bernard McNamara and Derek Quinlan, which bought the site in 2006 for €412m.

Irish Independent

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