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Receiver moves on London sites

THE NATIONAL Asset Management Agency (NAMA) has appointed receivers to take control of the Odeon West End Cinema site on Leicester Square in London, a project owned by a group of Irish developers.

The site was once reckoned to be worth €250m and is owned by Irish developers Pat Whelan, Paul Hanby and Pat Chesser.

The developers secured planning permission in 2008 to develop the site into a 220,000 square foot scheme, including a two-screen cinema, a 245-bedroom hotel, 33 flats and five restaurants.

Separately NAMA has appointed a receiver to the company and personal assets of developers Ray (above) and Danny Grehan.

The developers' major interests include the Grange apartment complex in Stillorgan, the former site of the UCD Veterinary College in Ballsbridge and the Glenroyal Hotel in Maynooth.

Ray Grehan paid €171.5m for the Veterinary College site in 2005 which made it, at the time, the most expensive site per acre in the country.

The former tiler only entered the property market as an owner in 1988.

His purchase of the former UCD vetinary site which came just months after Sean Dunne forked out a huge sum for a site at the nearby Burlington Hotel, made headlines all over the world as it cost €84m per acre.

Nama has confirmed that the Grehans' corporate and personal debts to the agency are in the 'hundreds of millions of euro'.

Receivers Michael McAteer and Paul McCann of accounting firm Grant Thornton have been appointed to oversee the debts and associated property assets.

The UK administration hearing is due to be heard on May 10.