Business World

Thursday 22 March 2018

NAMA avoids paying out for US golf boss's demands with case victory

Derek Quinlan. Photo: PA
Derek Quinlan. Photo: PA
Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

NAMA has won a legal battle in the US that means taxpayers here will not have to foot the bill after a US golf executive claimed lost bonuses and salary from the state agency after it took control of the resort he ran in the US state of Georgia.

NAMA ended up involved in the luxury Georgia Club, a golf complex and country club in the Southern US state, after taking control of debts owed by Derek Quinlan to Anglo Irish Bank.

The debts had financed the Georgia stage of the super- developer's global asset-buying spree.

It was owned until recently by a company called Barber Creek, which was run by chief executive James Vanden Berg.

Last October, Mr Vanden Berg filed a lawsuit against NAMA, seeking unpaid bonuses, outstanding salary and a company car allowance, after the agency forced the sale of the luxury club.


He claimed NAMA should be forced to honour a $500 (€405) a month car allowance, $175,000 in bonuses and a share of his $276,000 per year salary.

The claim was made against the Irish agency rather than the club itself, arguing that NAMA was its effective owner

A court in the US has now rejected the claim, freeing NAMA from the potential bill and ordering the US executive to pay the costs of the Irish agency's defence.

It's a victory for NAMA, which was potentially facing a bill for millions if it had lost the case.

The case, however, highlights the risks and costs to taxpayers of an agency that is forced to operate on a global scale because of the far-flung investments of Ireland's former property kingpins.

Meanwhile, closer to home, NAMA has appointed receivers to take control of Co Cork firm Delgrange Properties, which had debts of €11m, according to the most recent company accounts.

Irish Independent

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