The president of Louis Vuitton, Bernard Arnault, approached developer David Daly about buying some of his UK properties, a court heard yesterday.
Mr Daly, associated with Albany Homes, is challenging a demand from NAMA for him and his family to repay €457m of loans. He said in an affidavit since news of NAMA's demands went into the public domain, he had been approached about his UK assets by potential buyers, including Mr Arnault.
Mr Daly is also challenging the appointment of receivers to some of their properties and the case has been fast-tracked to the Commercial Court. NAMA is taking action against him and his family, not against Albany Homes.
Receivers appointed by NAMA over various properties of the Dalys' here and in the UK remain in place and are receiving rents, Paul Sreenan, for NAMA, told the court yesterday.
The properties include Airside Business Park in Swords, Dublin, and several at St Stephen's Green, and Pembroke Road, Dublin.
The UK properties include the Louis Vuitton building at Bond Street, London.
Mr Daly said the Irish properties were recently valued by Savills at €158m. The UK properties were given a conservative "red book" valuation by Savills of about £269m (€297m) (including £190m-£195m for the Louis Vuitton building).
Since media coverage of his dispute with NAMA began, he had been approached by a number of parties interested in acquiring all or part of the UK property assets, including Mr Arnault, he said. The prices being indicated were considerably less than the value of the assets and he believed this was due to parties seeing an opportunity to purchase the assets at an undervalue.
Mr Justice Peter Kelly, on consent of all the parties involved, agreed yesterday to NAMA's application to transfer the proceedings to the Commercial Court, which fast-tracks business disputes.
The judge also made directions for the hearing on July 13 next, under a complex procedure required under the NAMA Act 2009, of the Dalys' application for leave to seek various remedies against NAMA.
That hearing is likely to take four to five days, the court was told.