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McInerney 'lining up' private equity injection

HOME builder McInerney yesterday said it was in advanced negotiations with a private equity firm as it seeks an injection of new capital.

Weekend press reports indicated that McInerney was in the midst of a battle to avoid going into receivership but, in a statement to the Irish stock exchange yesterday, the company said they had been working on a "substantial" investment with a private equity group for the last four months, and that the investor had been conducting due diligence since June.

The builder had previously announced that it had engaged the investment bank Goldman Sachs as it sought new capital.

It is believed that McInerney staff and advisers have met officials from the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) but no formal proposal has yet been made with regard to transferring loans to the agency.

"McInerney's Irish syndicated lenders and their advisers are engaged in a review of the group's restructuring proposals," said the company.

Discussions on a restructuring plan for its UK operations with British lenders were said to be "advanced and constructive".

David O'Brien, an analyst with Goodbody stockbrokers, remains pessimistic.

"Following an impairment of €156m in full year 2009, McInerney is left with a negative equity position to the tune of €92m, with net debt of €236m. Given the company's ominous financial position we remain negative on the company."

Last year the company built 85pc less houses than in 2006.

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