Cherrywood backers to continue funding

 

LENDERS TO the Cherrywood Science and Technology Park, once a key part of Liam Carroll’s property development empire, have agreed to continue to provide it with funding so that it can continue to operate as a “going concern”.

This has emerged from an auditor’s report filed recently by KPMG with the companies office.

“The directors have reviewed financial projections and considered the availability of financial support and, on the basis of this review, believe that appropriate funding will be made available to the company to continue as a going concern and that intercompany balances will be recovered,” KPMG states in its report dated July 14th, 2010.

The auditor adds the determination of the value of the development involves “consideration of a number of factors whose ultimate outcome cannot be determined with certainty at present and, as a result, the valuation of the development property may not reflect the impact of current market conditions”.

In spite of the uncertainties, KPMG stopped short of qualifying the company’s accounts. Lenders with charges over property at Cherrywood, where computer maker Dell is the anchor tenant, include Bank of Scotland (Ireland) and AIB, according to documents lodged with the companies office.

Cherrywood Science and Technology Park is an unlimited company and so it does not publish its financial statements. But an auditor’s report and annual return is filed each year. Its directors are listed as Mr Carroll, John Pope (a senior figure within Mr Carroll’s group) and Noel Murray. Lands at Cherrywood were developed as a joint venture by Mr Carroll’s Dunloe Ewart property company and Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, the local authority with responsibility for the area.

But the collapse in the property market has brought development to a virtual standstill. It was not part of Mr Carroll’s Zoe group of companies that collapsed last year in a high-profile legal case. Zoe owed its banks €1.3 billion.

Last December, The Irish Timesreported a deal had been struck between Mr Carroll and the local authority that resulted in the council receiving land and buildings valued at €60 million in settlement of a dispute over the joint venture project. The proposed deal came about after Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown initiated legal proceedings in July 2009 to protect its interests in the science and technology park following the collapse of Zoe.

The 64-acre site, off the N11 in south Dublin, was partially owned by the council, which had also invested €57 million. The joint venture had been agreed in 1997.

Twenty acres of development land and four acres of open space were to be transferred to sole ownership of the council under the deal. Two of the 10 buildings were to be included with Luas Line B1, due to open later this year.

The local authority set up a company called DLR Properties Ltd to hold, manage and potentially sell the lands. The remainder of the site was to remain under the control of Cherrywood Science and Technology Park, the company controlled by Mr Carroll.