Quinn set to lose €2.5m on ill-fated property venture

Former Ireland soccer international, Niall Quinn is set for a loss of around €2.5m on his ill-fated Co Carlow property venture.

Quinn confirmed yesterday an offer has been made for the ‘ghost’ 15 one-and-two bedroomed apartment block and adjoining pub built by his firm, Manorfield Taverns Ltd, in Bagenalstown.

However, the former Sunderland chairman is on the hook for a 50% or €2m share of the €4.1m personal guarantee provided to AIB on loans taken out by the firm to develop the apartment block.

The apartment block has never been occupied and new accounts filed by Manorfield Taverns Ltd with the Companies Office show losses at the firm last year further increased by €324,202 to €5.6m, due mainly to a further write-down.

The apartment block is expected to realise in excess of the property’s book value of €590,308 due to the current upturn but will still leave Quinn nursing a loss of around €2.5m from the venture.

Quinn owns a 50% share of Manorfield with Dublin developer, Cosmo Flood and in an interview yesterday, Mr Quinn said: “It wasn’t the best investment I have ever made, but I have other interests that keep the show on the road. I have got to take this one on the chin and move forward with other things.”

Mr Quinn conceded he will be left with “a big loss” from the investment.

The Bagenalstown property was put up for sale a number of months ago after the leaseholder of the adjoining pub ceased trading and Mr Quinn said that he hoped to finalise a deal soon on the offer made.

He said: “You win some and you lose some and like everyone I am hopeful of a better future than the last number of years. Like everyone else we have re-adjusted.””

New accounts for Manorfield Taverns Ltd show that the firm wrote down its assets by €209,692 last year and Mr Quinn said: “The firm didn’t trade last year and the write-down is associated with the leaseholder of the pub ceasing trading. The firm thought it prudent to record the write-down.””

Manorfield has bank loans totalling €4.62m, in addition to the €1.2m loan Quinn provided, and the Dubliner has given a written undertaking not to seek repayment of this loan for the foreseeable future.


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