Thursday 18 January 2018

McNamara's ability to repay his NAMA loans hit by receiverships

Emmet Oliver Deputy Business Editor

The ability of developer Bernard McNamara to repay loans he owes to NAMA and other banks has been hit by recent receiverships of many of his smaller companies.

It is understood Mr McNamara is owed significant sums by some of the firms which have gone into receivership, reducing his net worth and making repayment even more difficult.

Two companies which have gone into receivership, Belltrap and Grattenlane Ltd, owed almost €850,000 alone. The loans given to these companies are unsecured and interest free.

In a receivership or liquidation, preferred and secured creditors will rank ahead of developer McNamara and he is unlikely to see any return from their assets.

Six companies belonging to Mr McNamara hav been put into receivership in recent weeks by either NAMA or Ulster Bank.

It is understood NAMA has also asked Mr McNamara for information about any asset transfers that have taken place to either his spouse or any other third parties. It is understood Mr McNamara owns a large property portfolio outside Ireland and his wife purchased a Manhattan apartment in recent years, for instance.

Mr McNamara's crumbling property empire is in danger of implosion as so many of his largest companies are moved out of his control.

Recently Varleigh and Breydon Developments have both been put into receivership by Ulster Bank, with PWC appointed to both firms as the receivers.

The companies are involved in property development, much of it in the Tallaght area, and public relations executive James Morrissey is a director of both companies.


Mr McNamara, who is involved in negotiations with NAMA, creditors and foreign banks, has already seen one of his key companies, Michael McNamara and Co, one of the biggest building and civil engineering groups in Ireland, go into receivership.

Mr McNamara owns the company but had taken a step back from its activities in recent months. He is believed to have debts of €1.5bn and has been in intense talks with NAMA for months.

It is not known what personal guarantees the Clare-born developer has given.

While a popular figure in the property game, Mr McNamara came under financial pressure after he invested in the Irish Glass Bottle site in Ringsend, Co Dublin.

Mr McNamara took a stake in Becbay, the company behind the venture, but ended up being sued by a group of private investors put together by Davy.

NAMA moved a fortnight ago to appoint a receiver to Mr McNamara's flagship Radora Developments after several weeks of negotiations.

Radora owns the giant Elm Park prime office development in Dublin 4. A sale of the Elm Park development will be one of the largest sell-offs in south Dublin for some time and could impact on prices for commercial property throughout the area.

Friends First and ACC were also mentioned at one point as likely to apply for a receiver to the Radora company.

The receiverships come as NAMA works its way through 30 business plans submitted by the big property developers to figure out which parts of their operations may be viable and which should be shut down.

The agency has an 80-strong team -- including insolvency experts -- that has been working with the cash-strapped developers to work out how it can get them to repay the maximum amount.

Irish Independent

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