herald

Tuesday 19 September 2017

Tycoon's empire on brink as NAMA eyes raft of his properties

A RAFT of lavish properties partly owned by developer Johnny Ronan are at risk of being seized by NAMA, it emerged today.

The State agency is preparing to swoop on a number of properties owned by Treasury Holdings -- one of NAMA's 10 biggest borrowers.

NAMA is believed to have issued a demand to the company to repay its huge loans -- which could be as high as €900m.

Informed sources told the Herald today that discussions between the two parties have reached a "very serious stage".

The Herald understands that a number of properties in the city have already been pinpointed by NAMA.

The agency has been negotiating a business plan with Treasury for several months but it appears now that its patience is running thin.

The company is believed to have been slapped with an ultimatum by NAMA, with a deadline falling as early as next month.

Treasury is jointly controlled by Mr Ronan and fellow businessman Richard Barrett and boasts an extensive property portfolio.

Its multi-million euro developments include the luxurious Ritz Carlton Hotel in Co Wicklow, as well as the Spencer Dock Development and the convention centre.

The centre hosted a concert for the queen during her historic State visit here last May.

The company also owns properties in Grafton Street, College Green and Ballsbridge.

It is not yet known which properties are in the agency's sights, but any move to swoop on the company's portfolio could leave Mr Ronan's empire in tatters.

Ultimatum

Reports today claim that NAMA officials met Treasury Holdings on Monday where an ultimatum was issued.

The agency may try to appoint a receiver to a number of the properties if a deal with the company is not agreed.

Mr Ronan and Mr Barrett were dealt a devastating blow last month when a company owned by Treasury lost control of the iconic London-based Battersea Power Station project.

NAMA seized the project from Real Estate Opportunities, whose majority shareholder is Treasury Holdings.

According to its website, Treasury Holdings boasts a global property portfolio with a value of more than €4.6bn.

It is currently advertising large tower block properties to let in Shanghai, China. However, any properties outside of Ireland and the UK would not be affected by a NAMA order.

A spokesperson for Treasury Holdings told the Herald today that discussions with NAMA are "ongoing".

NAMA declined to comment.

hnews@herald.ie

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