McNamara firm did not take title after paying €9m for property

Aroana granted declaration it is entitled to beneficial interest in College Green premises

Bernard McNamara: his firm Aroana  is now in Nama. Photograph: Frank Miller

Bernard McNamara: his firm Aroana is now in Nama. Photograph: Frank Miller

Thu, Aug 21, 2014, 22:08

A Bernard McNamara company, Aroana Ltd, now in Nama, paid €9.16 million in 2005 for the former Scottish Legal Life-owned premises at 18/19 College Green, Dublin, and never took up legal title to it, the High Court was told yesterday.

Barrister Eoghan Cole, counsel for Aroana receiver Declan Taite and Scottish Friendly Assurance Society Ltd (SFA), was granted a declaration that Aroana was entitled to the beneficial interest in the premises, which, he said, was now on sale to a third party for €3 million.

Mr Cole said that for whatever reason unknown to the receiver and which had only recently come to light, no deed of conveyance had been executed between the parties. A mortgage had been taken out with the former Anglo Irish Bank.

Mr Taite, in an affidavit, said he had been appointed as receiver of Aroana in January 2011 and he was seeking to regularise matters relating to title which “had rested in contract” since 2005. He said he considered the €3 million sale figure, though significantly less than what Aroana bought it for, very advantageous to Aroana and achieved the proper current market value of the asset.

If he was unable to complete the sale as receiver, Aroana would be exposed to either retaining ownership of the building, which was not advantageous, or to being forced into a sale at a lower price than agreed. Mr Justice Paul McDermott granted the receiver and SFA a declaration that Aroana in receivership was entitled to the beneficial interest in the property.