Business Irish

Tuesday 24 April 2018

Where big developers stand with the agency

Treasury Holdings/Real Estate Opportunities (REO)

Johnny Ronan and Richard Barrett got some good news from NAMA during 2010, but they are far from out of the woods.

NAMA has allowed a loan on the Battersea Power Station site in London to be extended until August, but there has been no official confirmation yet that business plans for both companies have been given full approval.

The Treasury/REO portfolio, which stretches all the way to China, is likely to be slimmed down significantly whatever happens, with so-called 'trophy' assets such as the Ritz Carlton in Wicklow surely under the microscope for sale.

Bernard McNamara

A year of fire fighting for Clareman Mr McNamara, with large chunks of his empire now in receivership. NAMA has moved against Radora and Michael McNamara & Co, and Ulster Bank has taken action against smaller companies such as Breydon Developments.

Mr McNamara still has assets of course, including a Ballsbridge home and his spouse is listed as the owner of a New York apartment. The developer of the Irish Glass Bottle site is still in touch with NAMA, but could 2011 really be any worse than 2010?

Gerry Gannon

Another developer who has submitted a huge business plan to NAMA that was awaiting approval as the year ended. Mr Gannon is a huge landowner in north Co Dublin thanks to loans from the likes of Irish Nationwide. He drew a spotlight on himself just before Christmas when the amount of assets he had transferred to his wife was disclosed by RTE.

Mr Gannon has been selling assets too though, including his stake in the K Club, which might end up the hands of Dr Michael Smurfit. Mr Gannon is hoping to continue to roll up interest on many of his loans, but NAMA may not allow this, which would increase debt pressures on his empire.

Sean Mulryan

Has not been immune to the property crash and many of his companies are in a weak financial state. But so far he has managed to avoid any of his creditors or banks pursuing him for judgments, which is a bonus in this climate. He has the largest portfolio of assets of any Irish developer, but his debts are considerable at more than €1.8bn.

Kildare resident Mr Mulryan has sold some of his horses and one of his helicopters as times change, but he will be boosted by the London Olympics in 2012. The strong UK balance to his portfolio is likely to appeal to NAMA.

Michael O'Flynn

Mr O'Flynn is one of the few developers prepared to talk publicly and unlike some of his counterparts he has no personal guarantees out with the bank. Mr O'Flynn, chairman and managing director of the O'Flynn Group, has already done one deal with a private equity house and is believed to be in discussions with two other firms.

The developer of the Elysian Tower in Cork, Mr O'Flynn has warned that NAMA cannot be a "blunt instrument", but equally he says many developers' business models will simply not last the current downturn. The future was about attracting equity investors, not bank debt, he told the Irish Independent in September.

Irish Independent

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