Monday, October 08 08:14:23
An Irish company owned by a trust set up for the grandchildren of bankrupt businessman Sean Quinn was paid $650,000 last year by a Ukrainian company which is part of the international property group the State-owned Irish Bank Resolution Corporation wants to seize. The money was paid into an AIB account in Blanchardstown, Dublin. The payments were made on foot of a contract agreed prior to the High Court ordering the Quinn family to stop asset-stripping the property group.
A second Irish company, owned by the wider Quinn family, was also paid substantial amounts in 2011. The previously unreported payments are set out in an affidavit of Sean Quinn jnr, filed by him to the High Court in July when he was sent to jail for contempt. In the document, Mr Quinn sets out certain matters concerning Cranre Property Services Ltd, with an address in Blanchardstown, Dublin. The company was incorporated in April last year. Mr Quinn's brothers-in-law, Niall McPartland and Stephen Kelly, are its directors, and the company's shares are held by a Swedish entity, Irish Trust AB.
Mr Quinn jnr said in his affidavit to Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne that the company was ultimately owned by the Cranaghan Foundation, a foundation set up for the benefit of his parents' grandchildren. He said that in April 2011, the company took over a services contract with Univermag, a company operating a shopping mall in Kiev. The contract was agreed at a time when IBRC was seizing the Quinn Group from the family. Mr Quinn jnr said he was advised by Mr Kelly that the terms of the contract were agreed between Mr Kelly and Larissa Yanez Puga, who ran Univermag for the family and whom the bank has been trying to depose.
Cranre received a $350,000 signing-on fee on July 8th, 2011, two payments of $100,000 each on September 2nd, 2011, and a further payment of $100,000 on September 3rd, arising from invoices for the months of June, July and August 2011. Mr Quinn said he was told by Mr Kelly that Michael Waechter, of Senat FZC, Dubai, sourced a company called Letynaya, to act as a property services company in relation to the Kiev mall. Letynaya is based in the United Arab Emirates. Mr Kelly agreed a contract between Cranre and Letynaya in August 2011, according to Mr Quinn. As part of this contract, Letynaya was to be paid E320,000 by Cranre, which it was in November 2011. The Irish Times
Pretax losses at the company that manages the five-star Shelbourne hotel in Dublin last year narrowed by 98 per cent to E104,282. In accounts just filed with the Companies Office, Torriam Hotel Operating Company said turnover at the hotel increased marginally from E9.3 million to E9.4 million in 2011. The E104,282 pretax loss compares with a loss of E7.6 million in 2010. The 2010 figure was distorted by E7.5 million in costs incurred by Torriam associated with a legal case taken by the hotel's owner, Shelbourne Hotel Holdings Ltd (SHHL). The case concerned Torriam's fulfilment of obligations arising out of the parties' 20-year management agreement for the operation of the Shelbourne.
The most recent accounts state that an arbitration tribunal on November 10th, 2010, dismissed SHHL's claim to be entitled to terminate the agreement and the E7.5 million costs comprised of the awards to the Shelbourne and Torriam's legal, professional fees and arbitration costs. A subsidiary of hotel giant Marriott International, Torriam's revenues are made up of management fees and payroll services. The firm recorded an operating profit of E86,514 last year following an operating loss of E7.7 million in 2010. The Irish Times
THE new employer of the most senior official yet to leave the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) has acquired property loans from the state agency, the Irish Independent has learned. NAMA's former head of lending, Graham Emmett, left the state agency in January this year and is now a partner at UK-based real estate investor ICG Longbow. ICG Longbow bought assets from NAMA in August this year, shortly before Mr Emmett joined the firm, and around seven months after he had resigned from the agency. There is no question of any wrongdoing by any party to the transaction, but the news is sure to reignite the question of whether rules should be put in place to stop staff who leave NAMA joining rival property firms or firms that are likely to do business with the agency in future for at least a set period. The Irish Independent
The Credit Review Office upheld two-thirds of complaints against AIB and Bank of Ireland brought by small firms turned down for loans in the past three months, and the state agency thinks credit markets are getting worse, according to its latest quarterly report due out today. The government office set up to police lending activities of the bailed-out banks said there are just three mainstream lenders dealing with small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and farms, and there is little chance of a competitor coming in.
The market is now made up of just AIB, Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank -- plus a small number of more specialist asset finance houses, the report says. The targets for AIB and Bank of Ireland's to advance E3.5bn of loans each to SMEs this year "is very challenging " but could be met, according to John Trethowan, head of the of the Credit Review Office. He said the flow of credit did pick up in the second quarter of the year, but will have to accelerate further if the targets are to be met. The office dealt with 36 applications from companies turned down for loans by the two pillar banks over the past three months. Twenty-one of those cases have been decided to date, and in 14 the refusal was overturned. The Irish Independent
Specialist insurer Ecclesiastical Insurance is looking to double the size of its business in Ireland and grow its market share over the next five years - identifying such developments as the Government's plans to further lessen the Roman Catholic Church's influence on the schooling system as opportunities. The company - seen by many as a provider of cover for religious activities, mainly focused on Anglican parishes - has been trading in Ireland for 32 years and is currently celebrating its 125th year as an international business spanning three continents.
Nearly two years ago, the Ecclesiastical group's Gloucester-headquartered management team committed to invest further in its Irish operations.
Financial services sector veteran David Lane - who was appointed to head up Ecclesiastical in Ireland at the beginning of this year - is trying to double the local division's annual revenues from the current E18m-E20m over the next five years. The Irish Examiner