Wednesday 13 December 2017

Treasury's Chinese unit trading under new name

Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

THE Chinese property business backed by developers Richard Barrett and Johnny Ronan is no longer trading under their old "Treasury" brand.

The property company formerly known as Treasury China Trust changed its name to Forterra Trust earlier this week, according to an announcement made to investors.

The company is listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange. The name change is part of a "formal process to dissociate ourselves from our former sponsor," the company said in a statement.

It's driven in part by a perception that the company's share price has been held back in part thanks to the fallout from the collapse of Barrett and Ronan's original Irish property giant Treasury Holdings into liquidation over unpaid debts last October.

That fallout included legal questions over the sale by TCT of two of its subsidiaries to Richard Barrett in the middle of a court action by creditor KBC Bank to have the Irish wing of the business liquidated.

As well as the change of name, Forterra, understood to be 30pc owned by Mr Barrett and Mr Ronan, announced financial results for 2012 this week.

The company's property assets are mainly in China and are valued at €1.7bn. Property income was €61m, with an operating profit of €36m, according to the results.

The old Treasury connections have not been entirely cut, despite the name change.

In an earlier market update TCT said that the Irish High Court has ordered legal discovery of items that may be connected to a controversial sale by the now bust Treasury Holdings of a 9.8pc stake in TCT to Mr Barrett and Mr Ronan back in 2009 to be completed by May 20 this year.

That would be in time for a trial starting on October 15. NAMA, as Treasury Holdings biggest creditor, is seeking to have the sale of the stake reversed.

Irish Independent

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