‘No consultation’ on glass bottle site value

Businessmen Bernard McNamara and Derek Quinlan obtained no external valuation in their decision to further write down the value of the former glass bottle site in Ringsend, Dublin, by 40% to €30m, new documents show.

Filings lodged by Becbay Ltd — the vehicle established to develop the Glass Bottle site — confirm that the further writedown is based on the opinion of the two and is not supported by an updated external valuation.

The 25-acre former glass bottle site was bought for €411m in 2006 in one of the biggest deals during the building boom and Becbay is 41% owned by Mr McNamara; 33% owned by financier Mr Quinlan with the Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDDA) owning the remaining 26%.

Mr McNamara and Mr Quinlan state that they are aware that the DDDA valued the site at €50m based on an external valuation by Lisney at the end of December 2009.

The report by the two states that it is their opinion “that development land has further fallen in value since the date of the valuation and consequently they have written the site down by an additional 40% to allow for this”.

The directors’ report states that the fresh writedown “is based on their combined opinions and referencing any available external information”.

The two concede: “This is highly judgmental given the lack of comparable transactional activity in the market, however, it is directors’ best estimate of the estimated potential recoverable value”.

The figures show that losses at the firm widened by €40.3m to €493.1m in the 12 months to the end of Dec 2009.

The accounts — signed off by Mr McNamara and Mr Quinlan on Jan 31 last (2012) — show that the amount owed to creditors increased by €20m during the year from €503.6m to €523.9m.

The company’s principal banks are Anglo Irish Bank and AIB and the figures show that the firm owed €337.2m to the banks, with a further €138.4m owed to its shareholders along with €39.9m in “other amounts owed to shareholders”.

The directors’ report states that in Apr 2010 the loan facilities of the company were transferred to Nama. The filings state “no formal business plan has as yet been requested by Nama.

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