Interest shown in Taggart properties


A POTENTIAL buyer hopes to meet with the administrator of troubled developer, Taggart Holdings, early next week.

Belfast-based Taggart was placed in administration in Northern Ireland and receivership in the Republic last week at the request of Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank, to which it is said to owe €150 million.

Stuart Pearson, a 24-year-old accountant who has been building up a property portfolio over recent years, confirmed yesterday that his advisers are seeking a meeting with the administrator, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

“We are hoping to have a meeting next week,” Mr Pearson told The Irish Times yesterday. He added that he was interested in buying Taggart’s property assets.

A report yesterday claimed that he had already offered between €350 million and €450 million for the company, but Mr Pearson said that he has not made an offer, or met PwC. He pointed out that he would need to have the Taggart assets valued before considering any offer for them.

A spokesman for PwC said the administrator would welcome approaches from individuals and organisations who believe that they can contribute to the successful outcome of the current solvency process.

Mr Pearson inherited money a number of years ago and has been actively investing it in property in Ireland and Britain. He is advised by De Vere and Goodbody private clients, which has a number of joint ventures with Taggart.

Garth Andrew Calow of PwC’s Belfast office is the administrator, while Billy O’Riordan from the firm’s Dublin operation is acting as receiver to four Taggart com-panies in the Republic.

Administrators are appointed under Northern Irish law to establish if a troubled company can be rescued and its creditors repaid. During the process, creditors cannot enforce debts against the business, which has the protection of the courts.

Receivers are appointed by secured creditors, normally banks, and their primary duty is to ensure that the debt is repaid.

John and Michael Taggart, originally from Derry, founded Taggart Holdings in 1989. Its main activity is building new homes. The company has assets in Ireland, Britain, Europe and the US.