Crosbie resigns from dockland companies
DEVELOPER AND businessman Harry Crosbie has resigned as a director of a series of companies connected with his Dublin docklands property empire.
Mr Crosbie, who is best known as the developer behind venues such as the O2, the Bord Gáis Grand Canal Theatre and Vicar Street venues in central Dublin, owes €500 million to State agency Nama, either directly or through his organisation’s involvement with other businesses, such as the Convention Centre, Dublin.
Mr Crosbie, his wife Rita and son Simon have resigned as directors from a number of key companies in his group over the last two weeks.
The companies involved are mainly connected with Crosbie Group developments in the capital’s docklands, and include Amphitheatre Ireland, which is behind the O2 live venue at the Point on the north side of the Liffey.
He has also resigned as a director of Grand Canal Theatre Ltd, which operates the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre on Dublin’s Grand Canal basin.
In addition, he has resigned as director of several companies associated with the Point Village, which consists of a number of developments around the O2, including the Gibson Hotel.
Company documents show that, in most cases, Mr Crosbie and his family have been replaced as directors by his group’s financial controller John Dunne and/or its managing director Auke Van Der Werff.
Mr Crosbie, who is out of the State at the moment, refused to comment on the resignations when contacted yesterday.
Nama, the group’s biggest creditor, did not comment either. The agency does not discuss individual cases in public.
Mr Crosbie’s businesses owe an estimated €250 million to Nama, which acquired the debt when it took over loans that his companies had drawn down from AIB.
His group is party to another €250 million due to the agency for developments involving other individuals and organisations.
Those liabilities are joint and several, which means that the Crosbie Group could be liable for the full amount due to the agency should the other debtors fail to pay, leaving the potential liability at €500 million.
Nama acquired developers’ loans at a discount of more than 50 per cent, but its brief is to ensure they repay the full amount borrowed.
On RTÉ last year Mr Crosbie suggested that the State agency would be repaid only the actual amounts that it paid for the loans and not their full value.