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Companies owned by developer Robert Butler passed to NAMA

A series of companies owned by well-known Limerick developer Robert Butler have entered the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA), new accounts confirm.

The assets owned by Mr Butler's companies would not have been included in NAMA's annual report for 2010, published last week, as the transfer of his companies' loans took place in February of this year.

According to a note attached to the accounts of Robert Butler Holdings, arising from the transfer of the loans in February, "NAMA has agreed to initially provide financial support to the company's operation, in very specific terms, for a three-month period commencing May 20, 2011.

"The directors are hopeful that this support will be extended and have not been given any indication that NAMA will not continue to provide the underlying debts facilities required, and on this basis they continue to prepare the accounts of the company on a going-concern basis."

The accounts just filed with the Companies Office show that investment properties owned by Robert Butler Holdings were written down by €4m in the 12 months to the end of August last year, and that the company had net assets of €3m.

Accounts have yet to be filed by parent company Robert Butler Group which, in its 2009 filings, showed an after-tax loss of €10.1m. Part of the group's property portfolio is Anglo Irish Bank House on Limerick's Henry Street.


The group's development portfolio includes substantial properties in the Shannon Free Zone and the National Technology Park in Limerick.

A home built for Mr Butler in the grounds of Adare Manor, Co Limerick, was put on the market in 2008 for €12m -- a record price for the region.

The eight-bedroom property failed to sell and is now back on the market for €3.8m.

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Auditor PGL provides a disclaimer on the view given by the financial statements on Robert Butler Holdings and on four other subsidiaries: Dooradoyle BT Properties; Hollowfield Developments; Bluefort Properties and Millgrove Properties.

All companies have had their loans transferred to NAMA and the auditor says with respect to development lands owned by the companies, the evidence available is limited because there is no active market from which it could make an assessment of the net realisable value.

In respect of companies that require funding to complete the developments to a saleable condition, the auditor states that this will be dependent on funding being made available by NAMA, and the availability of such is uncertain.

The accounts show that the Butler companies had contrasting fortunes last year: Bluefort Properties recorded profits of €392,454 and had net liabilities of €683,612; Dooradoyle BT Properties recorded profits of €250,610 and net assets of €412,226; Hollowfield Developments recorded a loss of €52,491 and net liabilities of €1.2m and Millgrove Properties reported a loss of €67,413 and net liabilities of €1.52m.

Mr Butler was unavailable for comment.

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