Maplewood says Nama forced it to insolvency

 

THE DIRECTORS of Maplewood Developments, which has gone into liquidation owing more than €300 million to creditors, have accused State agency Nama of forcing the company into insolvency.

Maplewood was one of the biggest players in the last decade’s building boom and was co-developer of Adamstown, the custom-built dormitory town close to Lucan in Co Dublin.

At a meeting in the Red Cow Hotel on the outskirts of Dublin yesterday, Nama had its nominee, Simon Coyle of Mazars, appointed as liquidator to the company. Maplewood’s directors and a number of its creditors had nominated Derek Earl, a partner with Somers, Murphy Earl, for the role.

Nama is due €52 million in secured debts from Maplewood Developments. The biggest creditor is Ulster Bank, which is due €260 million.

A statement from Maplewood’s directors, including its founder, Michael Whelan, issued after yesterday’s meeting, pointed out that Nama took over the loans in December 2010.

The statement said the company’s business plan intended getting the best return for Nama – and other creditors – by working through the assets over time.

“Nama chose not to support the company’s management and took enforcement action earlier in 2012, including the appointment of fixed asset receivers and then getting substantial judgments against the company,” the directors said.

“These actions had a very damaging impact on the company, leading it into an insolvent position.”

The directors also said that up until yesterday, the company was continuing to trade, building and selling 45 new homes a year with the support of Ulster Bank.

A Nama spokesman said the agency never commented on individual cases. However, he said all its actions in any situation were directed at getting the largest possible return for the taxpayer.

Alongside Ulster Bank and Nama, the company owes €900,000 to trade creditors, who are unsecured, and small sums to preferential creditors, including the Revenue Commissioners.

While the trade creditors are unlikely to receive the full amounts due to them, a number turned up to yesterday’s meeting and expressed their support for the company and Mr Earl’s appointment.

In January, Nama appointed Michael Coyle and Simon Davidson of HWBC Allsop as receivers over part of the company’s assets and properties, and those of its parent, the Moritz group.

It took court action against a number of Moritz companies, seeking the repayment of €172 million.

Ulster Bank then 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.

Maplewood’s directors were not required to personally guarantee any of Maplewood’s its loans personally.