Business Irish

Wednesday 13 December 2017

Superquinn property holding firm racked up pre-tax losses of €14.8m

John Mulligan

John Mulligan

A Superquinn property holding company racked up pre-tax losses of €14.8m in the year to the end of last April, just months before the chain was acquired by SuperValu operator Musgrave.

Accounts for a company called Blackrock SRH show that the firm recorded a €13.3m operating loss in the last financial period after writing €15.2m off the value of the shopping centre premises in the Dublin suburb.

Musgrave agreed to pay about €250m for Superquinn after the chain fell into receivership last summer. The business had been sold by Feargal Quinn and his family in 2005 for €450m to a consortium including David Courtney, David Cantrell and Kieran Ryan.

Developer Bernard McNamara had also been one of the original investors, but he sold his stake a number of years ago.

Although Superquinn's retail operations had been suffering, it was property-related loans, totalling roughly €400m, that pushed the business to the brink.

The accounts for Blackrock SRH note that, prior to the takeover by Musgrave, the property holding firm valued the Blackrock premises at €34.7m after reducing its value by €15.2m in the previous year.

However, there were €38.4m in bank loans that fell due within one year of the firm's financial year end last April.

"Subsequent to the acquisition of the company by a subsidiary of Musgrave group ... agreement was reached with the company's bankers in relation to the settlement of the bank loans," note the accounts.

"The company subsequently sold the investment properties to a subsidiary within the Musgrave Group.

"As a result of this transaction, the bank loans within the company were settled and the liability extinguished."

Irish Independent

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