Major player in building boom may be wound up this month
ONE OF the biggest players in the last decade’s building boom faces the prospect of being wound up at the end of the month.
Maplewood Developments, most of whose assets are under the control of banks, has called a creditors’ meeting for August 28th.
The notice states that the company is holding the meeting to appoint a liquidator and a committee of inspection – precursors to winding up the business.
Maplewood Developments was one of the biggest players in residential building during the construction boom that ran from the early years of the last decade to 2007. In partnership with Castlethorn Developments, it was the main developer behind Adamstown, the custom-built dormitory town close to Lucan in west Dublin. The company was also behind a series of developments in the capital’s suburbs and the commuter belt.
In January, the National Assets Management Agency (Nama) appointed Michael Coyle and Simon Davidson of HWBC Allsop as receivers over a large part of the company’s assets and properties. The agency appointed the receivers on foot of loans due to AIB. The company owes Nama more than €137 million.
Shortly afterwards, Ulster Bank, which is owed €280 million by Maplewood’s parent, the Moritz group, appointed Paul McCann of Grant Thornton as receiver over hundreds of finished and unfinished homes in the suburbs of Dublin, as well as a number of its development sites.
The Moritz group has a number of investments outside property in telecoms and retailing.
Longford businessman Michael Whelan set up and controlled Moritz and Maplewood Developments. He also invested in properties in the City of London and in eastern Europe.
In 2008, his wealth and assets were calculated at €103 million. Mr Whelan set a record when he paid €9 million for a five-bedroom house in Dartry on Dublin’s southside.
Mr Whelan is well known in sporting circles. In the past, his companies sponsored Ballyboden St Enda’s GAA Club and a number of horse races, while he owned shares in a number of national hunt horses which were in the care of leading trainer Willie Mullins.