Friday 19 January 2018

Auditor's report reveals doubts over future of Smyth's Alburn

Gordon Deegan

Noel Smyth's Alburn business is loss-making and there are a number of material uncertainties that could cast significant doubt on the ability of the company to continue as a going concern.

That is according to an auditor's report lodged by auditors KPMG with the Companies Office concerning Alburn.

The company's loans have been transferred to NAMA.

However, as the Dublin- based Alburn has unlimited status, no detailed figures are available on the financial state of the company as Alburn is not required to file annual accounts with the Companies Office.

Mr Smyth is best known as Ben Dunne's lawyer at the time of a £1.3m donation from Mr Dunne to the late Charlie Haughey, and his most high-profile property business here holds the largest stake in the Square at Tallaght.

Last year, NAMA took possession of Mr Smyth's entire art collection of almost 400 pieces as part of a down-payment on debts owed by Alburn.

Now, the auditor's report confirms that a note in the Alburn accounts refers to a number of material uncertainties, which could cast significant doubt on the ability of the company to continue as a going concern.

According to Tom McEvoy of KPMG: "These matters include the provision by NAMA of working capital facilities and financial support to cover certain operating cash requirements and the continued renewal by NAMA of bank facilities."

The note continues: "While the ultimate outcome of these matters cannot be assessed with certainty at this time, the directors are of the opinion that, based on the current discussions and the group's ongoing relationship with NAMA, there is no reason to believe that the continued support from NAMA will not be forthcoming."

Uncertainty

It adds: "This issue, together with an uncertainty regarding the collectability of a receivable from a group undertaking, which is set out in Note 2, indicates the existence of material uncertainties that may cast doubt on the company's ability to continue as a going concern."

In his report, Mr McEvoy confirmed that Alburn was loss-making in the year to the end of June 30, 2011.

He also states that the balance sheet of the company shows an excess of liabilities over assets "and in our opinion, on that basis, there did exist at June 30, 2011, a financial situation which, under Section 40(1) of the Companies (Amendment) Act 1983 would require the convening of an EGM of the company".

Mr Smyth did not return a phone call for comment yesterday.

However, in a newspaper interview in April, Mr Smyth said: "I have a successful business in Ireland."

Mr Smyth said that his dealings with NAMA were off-limits.

He said he wouldn't be commenting on those as he had signed a confidentiality agreement with NAMA.

Irish Independent

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