DUN Laoghaire/Rathdown Co Council is to move the management of buildings and prime development land at Cherrywood, which it once co-owned with Liam Carroll, into a new company with powers to manage and sell the assets if the timing was right.
The local authority has set up a company called DLR Properties Limited to hold, manage and potentially sell the lands at Cherrywood in south Dublin. The local authority said it would now have a "significant property holding'' in Cherrywood, most of which will be located near the Luas terminus.
Mr Carroll, whose financial empire has all but collapsed, was a joint venture partner with the council in Cherrywood Science and Technology Park. But late last year several banks sought to put charges over the lands at Cherrywood and the local authority was forced into court to protect its interests.
A selection of land and property will now come to the council following negotiations with Mr Carroll's companies and the banks. Following a mediation process, the council has acquired assets worth at least €60m which could potentially be sold at some point.
But county manager Owen Keegan recently told local councillors this would not make sense in the current market.
However, the council admitted it did not have the "specialist skills'' or the expertise to manage the assets which have come into its ownership.
As a result a company called DLR Properties has been set up. It is owned by the council and will manage and develop the Cherrywood property interests. According to a plan provided by the council to the Irish Independent, the company will be able to dispose of the assets without council approval under the Local Government Act (2001) -- but only according to certain safeguards.
The council admitted that the new company would have the power to "enhance or diminish'' its corporate reputation. This is because the new company will be legally separate from the council.
Mr Keegan said directors appointed to this company must not have any conflicts and must not directly or indirectly profit from the activities of the new company.
Another reason for setting up the new company, according to the council, is that very significant VAT savings can be made if the council's interests are placed in the company.
A spokeswoman said a second company, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Properties Ltd, was also registered to retain the name and prevent any other party registering this company name.