Business Irish

Tuesday 12 December 2017

Home builder McInerney could rise from ashes

David Nabarro said he wants to create value for shareholders
David Nabarro said he wants to create value for shareholders
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Rebel UK corporate financier David Nabarro, who waged a battle against the board of building firm McInerney Holdings in 2011, is considering returning the firm to its housebuilding roots once the business is restored to the company register.

But Mr Nabarro told the Irish Independent that the shell company could also be used for any other type of business that wants to float on the stock exchange.

Mr Nabarro said he's hoping to create some value for over 3,100 shareholders who retain a stake in the remnants of the building firm.

Mr Nabarro now owns just over 16pc of McInerney Holdings following a high-profile corporate clash in 2011. That battle saw the McInerney Holdings board, including chairman Ned Sullivan, eventually resign from the company, which they wanted to liquidate as it had no meaningful assets or prospects.

McInerney Holdings was later struck off the Companies Register. However, all its accounts have now been brought up to date and Mr Nabarro has applied to the Companies Office to have the firm restored.

That process could take another few weeks, he said.

Renata Coleman, who sold her Humewood Castle in Co Wicklow to Galway builder John Lally for €25m in 2006, has also been appointed a non-executive director of McInerney Holdings.

Mr Nabarro said the Ireland-based German businesswoman was a long-time friend of his. Humewood is now owned by US billionaire John Malone.

In 2010, McInerney Holdings delisted from the stock exchange, having gone into examinership.

The group owed €115m to lenders including Bank of Ireland, Anglo Irish Bank and KBC. It had made a €17m loss in the first half of that year.

The banks had opposed the examinership of the group and its subsidiaries. US private equity group Oaktree had been interested in investing in two Irish units of McInerney, including McInerney Homes.

But the High Court and the Supreme Court rejected the plan and the businesses went into receivership.

Mr Nabarro had successfully opposed earlier plans to put McInerney Holdings - already a shell company at that stage - into voluntary liquidation.

He said that he's already had two approaches - from a technology firm and a mining company - interested in using McInerney as a shell to gain a stock market listing.

However, he said notwithstanding the fact that McInerney has not yet even been restored to the company register, he did not consider that those two suitors for a reverse takeover would be able to offer sufficient value to existing McInerney shareholders. Those shareholders will likely have a very small stake in McInerney following a reverse takeover.

He said once the company is restored to the register he will ask shareholders "brave enough" for a small contribution to assist with paying audit fees, filing and other charges.

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