Treasury liquidator in talks with ex-owners
The liquidator of Treasury Holdings is in detailed discussions with the former owners of the business, Richard Barrett and Johnny Ronan, over the controversial sale of two subsidiaries of the failed property developer in August.
Accountant Bernard Somers is representing Mr Barrett and Mr Ronan in these talks with Grant Thornton, which was appointed as liquidator to Treasury in October.
The talks have been described by an informed source as a “fact-finding exercise”.
The discussions relate to two controversial transactions concluded on the eve of a winding-up petition against Treasury by KBC Bank Ireland being heard in the High Court.
On August 28th, Mr Barrett acquired Treasury Holdings Real Estate Pte Ltd and Treasury Holdings (Shanghai) Property Management Co Ltd via a Jersey-based company, Oriental Management Services Ltd.
These were subsidiaries of Treasury Holdings and provided management services to Treasury China Trust, a Singapore-listed company in which Mr Barrett and Mr Ronan are significant shareholders.
Mr Barrett bought the companies for €2.263 million based on valuations provided by Cooney Carey and Mr Somers’s own accounting firm. It subsequently emerged that the businesses were valued at more than 50 million Singapore dollars earlier this year in a report by Goldman Sachs.
Mr Barrett has said the price paid reflected the higher of two independent valuations by accounting firms.
The liquidator could seek to have the transactions reversed or pursue a financial settlement with Mr Barrett if it is established the price paid did not reflect the true value of the businesses.