End for property giant Treasury as liquidators set to be appointed

High-profile property developer Treasury Holdings is expected to have joint liquidators appointed next week, making it one of the biggest casualties of the property crash.

The move comes as Treasury, which has debts of €2.7bn, yesterday told the High Court it was no longer resisting the application by KBC Bank to have it and related companies wound up.

Given Treasury’s stance outlined yesterday by its counsel Ross Gorman BL to Mr Justice Brian McGovern, KBC said it would seek to have Michael McCann and Jason McAteer of Grant Thornton appointed joint liquidators to Treasury and 16 related companies. This was required given the scope of Treasury’s interests across the globe, counsel for KBC Bernard Dunleavy BL told the court.

Mr Dunleavy also said the bank did not accept Treasury had provided adequate explanation for a transaction in which assets of a Treasury subsidiary in Singapore had been transferred to a company in the Channel Islands beneficially owned by one of its co-founders, Richard Barrett.

The transaction was a “serious” matter but an affidavit from Treasury provided no explanation for what had occurred, he said.

When the judge asked Mr Dunleavy whether that matter would be for the Director of Corporate Enforcement to address, counsel repeated his side had concerns about it.

Mr Gorman said, as far as Treasury was concerned, it had complied with a court order to provide an affidavit explaining that transaction.

Declan Murphy, for Nama, which took over more than €1bn loans of Treasury, suggested the winding up matter might be addressed yesterday as Nama would like “certainty”.

Mr Justice McGovern said the matter had been listed for next Tuesday and he would deal with it then and appoint joint liquidators. This would have the effect of winding up the Treasury group, the court heard.

The judge said he would also deal with the issue of whether Treasury had adequately addressed the concerns about the Singapore transaction in its affidavit.

The judge also noted Treasury’s continued undertaking that there would be no disposal by any companies in the group of shares and assets before the matter was returned to court.

Treasury had claimed 400 jobs — 300 here and 100 abroad — were affected but KBC had argued most of those were employees of the Ritz Carlton Hotel and not of Treasury itself.

The winding up is also expected to result in Treasury dropping any appeal against the Commercial Court’s rejection of its challenge to Nama’s calling in of some of its loans.

The very substantial costs of that case will be dealt with later this month.

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