Nama names developer’s receiver

Nama has appointed a receiver to a series of companies controlled by Limerick developer Robert Butler.

The agency has appointed Michael Miland and Des Lennon of Jones Lang Lasalle as statutory receivers to 15 companies in the Robert Butler construction group.

Established 30 years ago by chairman Robert Butler, the group’s development portfolio includes substantial properties in the Shannon Free Zone and Limerick’s National Technology Park.

The group’s property portfolio also includes the former Anglo Irish Bank House on Limerick’s Henry St.

The group’s website describes the company as “one of the leading Irish commercial property development firms”.

Earlier this year, a palatial residential property built for Mr Butler at Adare sold for €1.9m — €10m less than its original asking price of €12m in 2008.

The latest accounts filed by the group in May of this year showed that at the end of Aug 2010, 14 companies had an overall net deficit of €43.7m.

The companies listed to have a receiver appointed include: Robert Butler Holdings Ltd; Robert Butler (Investments) Ltd; Playa Investments Ltd; Mount Kennett Developments Ltd; Robert Butler Group Ltd; Robert Butler Realty Ltd; Dooradoyle BT Properties; Bluefort Properties; and Millgrove Properties Ltd.

In its latest accounts for Robert Butler Group Ltd, auditors PGL from Clonskeagh, Dublin 14, provided a disclaimer on the view given in the financial statements because of the limited audit evidence available.

The auditors state: “With respect to net inter-group receiveables of €20m and provision thereon of €10.9m, the evidence available to us regarding recovery was limited because of the financial position of the company — in view of the extent of its bank indebtedness and that of the group as a whole.

“While the directors consider the carrying amounts are reasonable to the best of their ability, due to the continuing uncertain financial and economic conditions, the availability of funding from its finance providers and the adverse impact on the company’s investments in its subsidiary companies and related inter-company debt, we were unable to obtain sufficient appropriate audit evidence particularly regarding the valuation and recovery of inter-group receivables by using other audit procedures.”

The largest loss amongst Mr Butler’s companies was recorded by Mount Kennett Developments Ltd, which sustained a loss of €14.4m, resulting in accumulated losses of €17.7m at the end of Aug 2010.

The loss mainly arose from a writedown in stocks from €13.7m to €870,185

A note attached to the returns made by Robert Butler Group Ltd confirms that the firm had net liabilities of €18m.

The note states: “Due to the continuing uncertain financial and economic conditions and the deterioration in the Irish property market, the directors recognise that the underlying value of net inter-group receivables is impaired and have incorporated valuations to the best of their ability, but have been unable with any certainty to determine an appropriate valuation given the concentration of investment properties and/or development land.”


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