Friday 23 March 2018

Ronan and Barrett admit they'll lose control in Treasury rescue

Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

DEVELOPERS Johnny Ronan and Richard Barrett (pictured) have admitted that they will lose "control" of Treasury Holdings under any rescue of the company but called for third-party mediation between them and NAMA to help secure a sale of the group's remains.

The Treasury owners made the call yesterday in the midst of a number of ongoing legal actions between both sides that have probably destroyed whatever relationship ever existed between the borrower and NAMA.

Treasury Holdings has won the right for a judicial review hearing, to be held next month, to look at whether NAMA acted correctly when it appointed receivers to Treasury properties worth hundreds of millions earlier this year.

It's also seeking damages in relation to the loss of assets seized in the UK.

NAMA meanwhile, regards the developer as "uncooperative" because of what it regards as a sweetheart deal to sell assets to Mr Ronan and Mr Barrett.

That deal saw Treasury sell €20m of shares in an Asian investment to the two men in exchange for €100,000 in cash and an IOU. NAMA has gone to court seeking to have it reversed. Treasury says the deal was to prevent the Asian venture being tainted by association with NAMA, was never hidden and that it was always willing to reverse the impact of the sale.

All three cases are ongoing.

The Treasury team believes NAMA is unwilling or unable to take action that could rescue its business. They claim NAMA has failed to engage with foreign buyers looking to do a deal for the Treasury assets.

A deal would benefit employees of the economy and taxpayers, Treasury said.

"What we will get out of any deal is the satisfaction of seeing this company and its unique collection of skills and expertise kept intact and continuing to provide the top quality office and other accommodation that Ireland, and potential foreign direct investors, need. We will also see the jobs of the 300 people who work for Treasury Holdings safeguarded and the company playing a role in Ireland's economic recovery," Mr Ronan and Mr Barrett said in a joint statement. In their statement they admitted any such deal would mean them losing control of Treasury Holdings, but did not rule out a more limited role in the future of the business.

Irish Independent

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