Thursday 21 November 2019

Developer Treasury Holdings to be wound down, joint liquidators to be appointed

Treasury Holdings developers Johnny Ronan, left, and Richard
Treasury Holdings developers Johnny Ronan, left, and Richard Barrett

Tim Healy

JOINT liquidators are expected to be appointed to insolvent developer Treasury Holdings by the High Court next week after the company said today it was no longer resisting KBC Bank’s application to have it and related companies wound up.

KBC said in those circumstances it would seek joint liquidators and its counsel Bernard Dunleavy also said the bank did not believe Treasury had provided an adequate explanation for a transaction in which assets of a Treasury subsidiary in Singapore had been transferred to a company in the Channel Islands beneficially owned by Richard Barrett.

Declan Murphy, for the National Management Assets Agency (NAMA), said it would like certainty in the matter and that it be addressed speedily.

Mr Justice Brian McGovern said today he would next Tuesday appoint joint liquidators from Grant Thornton to Treasury Holdings and 16 related companies. This would have the effect the Treasury group would be wound up, the court heard.

The judge said he would also deal with the issue whether Treasury had adequately addressed the concerns about the Singapore transaction in an affidavit. Ross Gorman, for Treasury, said, as far as it as concerned, it had complied with the court order to provide an affidavit explaining that transaction.

The judge noted Treasury was continuing an undertaking there would be no disposition by any companies in the group of their shares and assets before the matter was returned to court.

Treasury had claimed some 400 jobs - 300 here and 100 abroad - are affected but KBC had argued most of those were employees of the Ritz Carlton Hotel and not employees of Treasury itself.

The winding up is also likely to result in Treasury not proceeding with any appeal against the Commercial Court's rejection of its challenge to the calling in by the National Assets Management Agency of some of its loans.

Treasury is insolvent with total debt of more than €2.7bn and owes NAMA some €1.7bn.

KBC had argued that Treasury action was pointless in circumstances where KBC had said it would not agree to any restructuring of the Treasury loans and as KBC had petitioned for an order winding up Treasury unless the bank was paid €20m arising from loans advanced for the development of the Spencer Dock project in Dublin.

NAMA last July also issued demands for repayments of €3m each to John Ronan and Richard Barrett in their capacity as guarantor of a €13.5m loan to Treasury.

KBC had initiated the winding up proceedings earlier this year and they were due before the court next week. NAMA initially adopted a neutral position on KBC's application but last month changed that stance and supported KBC’s application due to its "serious concerns” following the announcement of the transfer of assets from the Singapore subsidiary.

Treasury insisted market value had been obtained for the assets in the transfer and there was no suggestion the assets were being moved beyond the reach of any creditors.

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