Tuesday 24 October 2017

McEvaddys to renew Dublin Airport T3 push by pulling loans from Nama

Ulick McEvaddy
Ulick McEvaddy

Gretchen Friemann and John Mulligan

Aviation entrepreneurs Ulick and Des McEvaddy are aiming to exit Nama by the end of the year after securing money from a small US bank that specialises in the aerospace sector.

It is understood the loans secured on a site adjacent to the airport were considered by Nama for inclusion in a sale by the bad bank in the absence of an offer for the full value of the debt. But sources familiar with the negotiations said the brothers would repay the loans in full by Christmas.

News of their impending exit follows revelations earlier this year that a Dubai-based organisation had agreed to back the McEvaddy's multi-decade-long battle to construct a terminal on a 130-acre parcel of land beside Dublin Airport, which they control along with other stakeholders.

Loans tied to the site ended up in Nama after the crash.

If the Omega Air directors succeed in taking the loans out of Nama, it will revive their lengthy and so-far unsuccessful attempt to gain access to taxiways and runways at Dublin Airport for a new terminal.

In the late 1990s Fingal County Council refused to greenlight the proposed construction of a private terminal and the McEvaddys appealed to the European authorities. But in 2002 the EU Commission ruled there had been no breach of competition law.

However, it is understood the McEvaddys are now considering another legal challenge.

A report by this newspaper's sister publication, the 'Sunday Independent' revealed in March that Dubai-headquartered Tricap Investments, a major investment fund with a diversified investment portfolio that spans real estate, energy and aerospace in the Middle East, the US, Asia and Africa had agreed to back this latest tilt by the brothers.

It is not clear how that financial arrangement is structured nor whether Tricap had tied its cash injection to the McEvaddys' securing funding to repay Nama as well as planning permission for the site.

But documents obtained by the 'Sunday Independent' show the McEvaddys and Tricap Investments unveiled their masterplan for T3 to Transport Minister Shane Ross in July last year.

Patrick O'Donovan, Minister of State at the Department of Transport, and Jobs Minister Mary Mitchell O'Connor were also lobbied. The push to revive the McEvaddy's airport plan comes as construction is due of a new runway at Dublin Airport.

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