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Now Mansfield home at risk as NAMA seizes airport and flats

BUSINESSMAN Jim Mansfield could lose his family home.

The west Dublin developer's home could be at risk if NAMA seeks to reverse a move which saw him put the property in his wife's name.

He had the last of his major assets seized by NAMA yesterday, leaving his property empire in tatters.

NAMA appointed a receiver to Mr Mansfield's Weston Airport, six of his apartment blocks at Citywest and his Palmerstown House Estate, which includes a championship golf course. It is understood Mr Mansfield owes NAMA "tens of millions'' on the assets.

Mr Mansfield's wife Anne is believed to own the family home at Tassaggart, Saggart, following a transfer last year, but it is possible NAMA could seek to reverse this transaction.

The receiver, Kieran Wallace of KPMG, will now sell all three assets but if the proceeds don't clear the debt, the agency will then move to seize other assets.



Dramatic

When contacted, Mr Mansfield said the receivership happened because NAMA wasn't happy with a plan put forward by him and his family. He said, as far as he was concerned, the receiver was only interested in the three assets.

He said he remained hopeful the impact on him wouldn't be too dramatic and he pointed out Weston Airport would continue to operate as normal. Mr Mansfield met a team from KPMG last night to discuss the operations of the three assets.

The loss of the airport will deal a particular blow to Mr Mansfield, who has battled local objections to turn it into a location for executive jets and flight training.

Mr Mansfield had the main part of his property empire, the Citywest complex, placed into receivership almost a year ago. Bank of Scotland (Ireland) took the step to recover €170m loaned to two companies.

In the current climate, it will be difficult for the Mansfields to pay down that level of debt, but with further problems at other companies, the burden could become impossible. If Mr Mansfield or his family gave personal guarantee to the original banks, virtually all his assets are up for grabs.

It is understood Weston is not profitable enough at present to make any dent in the debts accumulated by Mr Mansfield, although the apartments are believed to be rented out. The financial position of the golf course is not known.

The receivers' efforts to sell Weston Aerodrome are likely to be hampered by the earlier planning issues that have hampered the development of the site. Property sources say that efforts to sell the Citywest resort hotel taken over by a bank- appointed receiver last year are suffering because of unresolved planning issues.

Mr Mansfield is just the latest in a line of businessmen having their assets placed in receivership. The developer and former tax inspector Derek Quinlan had his Irish assets placed in receivership recently.



Safe

The developer Paddy Kelly also had a number of hotels placed in receivership in recent weeks and a number of smaller development companies have also been hit.

However some developers have started to work with NAMA and appear to be safe from any enforcement action. For example, Treasury Holdings has signed a preliminary agreement with NAMA and no action is likely against developer Sean Mulryan either.

mlavery@herald.ie


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