Monday 18 December 2017

Danske Bank chasing €8.2m in unpaid loans from Bill Cullen, court told

Tim Healy

A BANK is pursuing Ireland's best known car dealer, Bill Cullen, for more than €8.2m over unpaid loans.

Danske Bank bank applied to Mr Justice Peter Kelly at the Commercial Court today for leave to serve notice of the proceedings on Mr Cullen at his home at Osberstown House, Sallins, Co Kildare, after saying it had experienced difficulties serving the legal documents on him personally.

Rossa Fanning, for the bank, said about four efforts to effect personal service had proven unsuccessful and he was seeking an order to allow service by ordinary post at his home.

Mr Justice Kelly granted counsel an order allowing for substituted service.

Earlier this month, 45 employees at Mr Cullen’s Glencullen Holdings, which operates car dealerships in Swords and Liffey Valley in Dublin, were told Ulster Bank, owed an estimated €12m, had appointed receivers to the company to secure its loans.

Mr Cullen, owed €19.5m, is the biggest creditor of Glencullen. The company's latest accounts showed Mr Cullen also provided a letter of guarantee of €1.2 million as security for the loans, plus assignment of a life assurance policy.

A decline in car sales this year and other factors led to Mr Cullen losing control of the business. In August, Mr Cullen lost the Renault dealership, having held the national franchise for the French carmaker from 1986 to 2007.

Mr Cullen continues to retain control of the Muckross Park Hotel Cloisters Spa in Killarney, which he co-owns with his partner Jackie Lavin. Mr Cullen also starred in four seasons of TV3’s reality show, The Apprentice.

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