Business Irish

Monday 27 January 2020

Fingleton's Nationwide companies sitting on €33m in cash

Emmet Oliver Deputy Business Editor

TWO of Irish Nationwide's property development companies, set up when the society was run by Michael Fingleton, are now sitting on a cash sum of €33m despite recent property write-downs in the Irish market.

Much of the money arises from previous disposals of property. One of the companies, Vernia Ltd, has just reported total shareholders' funds of €23.3m, while another company, Pangrove Ltd, has almost €10m in equity and retained earnings.

Irish Nationwide, unusually for a building society, invested its own money in a number of property joint ventures, particularly in the UK. Ventures were undertaken with Gerry Gannon and Sean Mulryan, for instance.

Vernia had no current assets, but did have €23.3m in money belonging to shareholders. These shareholders are technically still the building society's members but, in effect, the company is now controlled by the Department of Finance.


Vernia had little development property with most of its assets effectively cash stored on deposit with the society. "The deposit, as at December 31, 2009, with the parent company is non-interest bearing.''

The creditors for this company, amounting to €898, 829, related to costs linked to the sales of property.

Pangrove had €4.1m of investment property, which was reduced in value from €5.4m. On top of the €4.1m of property assets was debtors (effectively deposits) of €5.5m, bringing total net assets at this company to €9.9m.

This company was also holding an investment position in a listed company, unnamed, valued at €942,071. These were valued in the market at €328,285.

The third development company belonging to the society, Cedarclose, was not in as good condition. Its assets were not more than the share capital in the company and this forced the society to convene an extraordinary general meeting.

It had a deficit in terms of shareholders' funds of €9.9m, up from €4.4m in the previous year.

Irish Independent

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