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IBRC pursues businessman over guarantees on €10m loan

A BUSINESSMAN is being pursued by Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC) for €10m over his guarantee of the liabilities of a company placed in receivership last year.

IBRC's proceedings seeking summary judgment against Patrick J.Cousins, of Broomfield, Malahide, Co Dublin, were initiated arising out of his alleged agreement in June 2002 to provide an unlimited personal guarantee of the debts of a property rental company, Rhodora Ltd, with registered offices in Howth, Co Dublin. Mr Cousins was a director of that company. 

That company was a customer of Anglo Irish Bank, IBRC's predecessor, in April 2002 when a loan for some €7.3m was advanced to it.

IBRC claimed that loan was rolled over and renewed by later facilities and, in March 2009, Rhodora received a renewed loan facility for some €8.7m which superseded all previous facilities.

IBRC claimed the terms of the 2009 facility were accepted by the company and by Mr Cousins on April 29 2009.

After the company failed to repay the facility on foot of a demand issued in 2012, IBRC demanded payment from Mr Cousins under his guarantee. In proceedings initiated in September 2013, it claimed the sum due and owing under the guarantee was some €10.06m.

The facilities were secured on sites and industrial units at Airport Business Park, Dublin Airport, and 12 acres of development land at Malahide, all owned by Rhodora.  The primary business of the company was the rental of the units from which loan repayments were to be made, the court heard.

Yesterday, Mr Justice Peter Kelly accepted arguments by a solicitor for Mr Cousins that delay on the part of IBRC in advancing its proceedings meant it should not be permitted avail of the fast-track procedures of the Commercial Court.

IBRC had argued the delay was contributed to by it having engaged in extensive discussions with Mr Cousins relating to the servicing of the Rhodora debt from rent payments. A number of rent payments were made but the bank said it appointed receivers in June 2013 because various issues raised by it were not addressed.

The judge said the case appeared to have been initiated as part of a strategy by IBRC to ensure that rental income would be provided and the bank had not demonstrated sufficient urgency entitling it to have this case fast-tracked. In those circumstances, the judgment application should go before the Master of the High Court in June, he directed.

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