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Mulryan's guarantees cover just £25m of Ballymore's £1.3bn debt

BALLYMORE Properties' boss Sean Mulryan had personal guarantees covering just £25m (€29.8m) of his UK company's £1.3bn (€1.55bn) debt pile when a batch of the loans was transferred over to NAMA last summer.

Mr Mulryan's minimal level of personal guarantees is revealed in accounts just filed by Ballymore Properties Holdings (BPH) in the UK, which also show the group repaid £437m of debt last year.

It is understood that the low-profile developer, one of the top 10 in NAMA, is likely to assume significantly greater personal responsibility for Ballymore's debt as part of a business plan to be agreed with the agency.

In a statement signed off on December 23, BPH's directors say negotiations on that seven-year business plan are "almost complete", adding that they are "confident" the plan will be approved.

The plan includes "refinancing, joint ventures and disposals of non-core assets," BPH's directors added.

The UK company claims to have already begun that process in the year to March 31, 2010, by selling off "a number of non-core assets" as well as a major London property known as Snow Hill Building 1.

Those disposals together with strong sales at Ballymore's Pan Peninsula development in London "enabled the group to repay £437m of borrowings in the financial year" and reduce its net debt by £333m.

BPH's directors say the company has secured the support of its lenders to "commence development on a number of development sites" since March 2010 and is actively progressing planning applications on other sites.

The accounts for the year-ending March 2010 also show BPH's operating losses more than doubled to £240m in the year, even though sales more than doubled to £334m.

Mr Mulryan had previously said he expected the year ended March 2009 to be the worst financially.

"The operating environment continues to be challenging and a number of assets have been impaired," BPH's directors say in a note on the latest results.

Irish Independent