Treasury to challenge Nama move to appoint receivers

Treasury Holdings has been granted a preliminary High Court hearing, for this morning, challenging a move by Nama to appoint receivers to a number of its Irish-based properties following the non-repayment of the company’s loans to the agency.

The property company applied for a judicial review yesterday, which was granted by Justice George Birmingham, essentially blocking any immediate move by Nama. A preliminary hearing will be heard this morning.

Treasury’s move is an attempt to block Nama appointing receivers — believed to be PricewaterhouseCoopers and Ernst & Young — to a number of its Irish-based assets, after a deadline of 4pm yesterday was passed without Treasury repaying its outstanding loans to the agency.

Nama said on Tuesday, that it had been “evaluating a number of proposals” in relation to the Treasury loans, which are thought to be worth somewhere in the region of €900m.

It is not known what elements of Treasury’s substantial Irish-based portfolio could fall into receivership, although it is understood the Treasury building in Dublin — which houses the headquarters of both Nama and the National Treasury Management Agency — is unlikely to be included, should Treasury’s legal action fail.

Treasury’s assets include Dublin’s Convention Centre and the Spencer Dock development in the capital’s docklands area.

The company is thought to be unhappy that parties reportedly interested in buying its Nama-based loans — at what could constitute a profit to the agency, according to one source — have not been successful.

It has been reported that international investment bank, Macquarie and global property group Hines Real Estate Holdings have been interested in buying the outstanding loans from Nama.

Last night, Treasury issued a statement and a list of the 36 properties which it said would be impacted by Nama’s actions.

It said: “We are extremely disappointed that Nama has chosen to act in this way.”

“Treasury Holdings has complied in every material way with Nama’s requirements from the outset and has honoured the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding agreed in December 2010.

“The appointment of a receiver would destroy further inherent value within the part of the property portfolio affected by today’s events and would reduce the prospect for the taxpayer to maximise a return on these assets.”

The company said for many months it had worked to identify major international investors willing to commit a very substantial investment into its business and to “underpin the commercial property market in Ireland”.

“Such an investment would represent the first large-scale investment by an international investor into the Irish property market since the financial crisis began in 2008,” it said. “In recent times, two international investors of scale and repute have emerged, each of whom are, in our view, prepared to pay more for the loans on the properties in question than Nama paid the financial institutions for them when Nama took them over.

“Other than to seek clarifications on certain matters, Nama has not engaged in negotiations with the two potential investors. We understand Nama has said only that the offers made by the two potential investors did not meet commercial requirements but did not outline what those commercial requirements were.

“We find this course of action impossible to understand. Both international investors have expressed a desire to work alongside Treasury Holdings in seeking to maximise the return on the portfolio over seven years and we would appeal to Nama to defer its current proposed actions and to allow meaningful and constructive discussions with potential investors to take place.”

Properties likely to be affected

* Leisureplex

* Tedcastles

* Lad Lane apartments

* Sligo Nazareth

* M1 Business Park, 35/36 Barrow Street, Cabinteely, Clonburris, Glendruid, Co Wicklow

* Central Park investment properties and site

* Central Park Block G,

* Ballymun

* Alto Vetro

* Montevetro

* M1 lands

* Ritz-Carlton Hotel

* Sligo Town Centre

* Undeveloped site at Spencer Dock

* Resi Units & Retail at Spencer Dock

* Block C1-3 (PWC office)

* 72 Laurences Park, Stillorgan

* 95 St Stephens Green apartments

* Collinstown

* 98 St Stephens Green

* Stillorgan Houses

* Rear of 22 St Stephens Green

* 99 St Stephens Green

* Durrow Mews

* Network House

* 22 Flemings Place

* Kinsealy

* Enniskerry

* Roundwood

* Milverton

* 32A Dawson Street

* Burleigh Court and nRowan Court

* Willow House

* Sycamore House

* Cedar House

* Block R (Spencer Dock)

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