A RECEIVER has been appointed to one of Limerick’s largest property companies, the Fordmount Property Group, and its two subsidiaries, which cumulatively has net liabilities in excess of €200 million.
Billy O’Riordan, partner with PriceWaterhouseCoopers in Dublin, was appointed receiver for the company this Monday, December 14, by the lender Anglo Irish Bank.
Dozens of creditors to the Fordmount Property Group and two of its subsidiaries – Fordmount Developments Ltd and Fordmount Developments (Savoy) Ltd – received letters this week informing them of the move.
It is understood Mr O’Riordan is examining the situation and is consulting with various stakeholders.
The directors of each of the companies are due to present the statement of affairs for all companies in January, but an extension may be granted to allow them get their affairs in order before the accounts are submitted to the Companies Registration Office.
However, a business source said “it is far too early to say what the prospects for unsecure creditors are”.
The receiver will also be attempting to source tenants for some of Fordmount’s vacant premises, including some on Bedford Row, to offset some of the companies liabilities.
“In many cases, premises were built by Fordmount, but are owned by the people who occupy them, or lease them, so there is no threat there.
“Thankfully there are no partly completed buildings; this was not a construction company which collapsed mid-stream.”
Revelations that the companies were suffering severe financial difficulties emerged this June, when director Michael Daly stepped down from the companies he created five years ago.
He resigned from Fordmount Property Group Ltd, and its four subsidiary companies, which have pioneered a series of notable developments within the city, including the 13-storey Riverpoint, the Savoy hotel (formerly the Marriott) on Henry Street and the redevelopment of Bedford Row.
The latest accounts filed to the CRO show that Anglo Irish Bank had been one of the main bankers to Fordmount Developments Ltd, and by the end of 2007 the company owed over €91m to creditors – €78.5m of which arose from bank loans and overdrafts.
At that time, the company’s net debt, according to the accounts which were signed off in May 2008, was €78.5m.
The net liabilities of Fordmount Property Group Ltd also increased by nearly €15m in 2007.
Prior to his resignation, Mr Daly had hoped to build a €20m 10-screen cinema complex on Bedford Row, and redevelop the site of Limerick Boat Club on Wellesley Pier, however the latter was refused planning permission by An Bord Pleanála.
The two other companies under the Fordmount Property Group are Fordmount Investments Ltd and Fordmount Retirement Villages Ltd.
The company once had a net worth in excess of €100m, and has delivered at least €300m worth of landmark commercial developments in Limerick.
Local solicitor Adrian Frawley& took up position as director of the Fordmount Property Group Ltd this summer.
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