AIB moves in on Sir Anthony O’Reilly

Bank moves to enforce security on his €4.3 million Cork holiday home


Allied Irish Banks (AIB) is trying to force Sir Anthony O’Reilly, the one-time billionaire and former chief executive of Independent News & Media (INM), to immediately repay loans of at least €4 million, secured on his luxurious holiday home in Glandore, west Cork.

The bank will seek a High Court judgment against Sir Anthony, whose family was ousted from INM by Denis O’Brien in 2012.

It will also seek judgment against Brookside Investments, the company that owns the coastal estate in Glandore, as well as Indexia Holdings, Sir Anthony’s private investment vehicle that holds his near 5 per cent stake in INM and his share of the oil explorer Providence Resources.

The property, Shorecliffe House, is currently listed for sale with Charles McCarthy auctioneers in Skibbereen, and it is understood that an asking price of about €2 million is being sought.

Media mogul
The bank declined to comment on its action, while the former media mogul, who has a home in the Bahamas and a stud in Kildare, could not be reached. Calls to his sons, Gavin O’Reilly, former INM chief executive, and Tony O’Reilly Jr, Providence chief executive, were not returned.

The bank began to move in on Sir Anthony last Friday, when it issued proceedings against him, the first step in obtaining a summary judgment. Sir Anthony will have the opportunity to dispute the claim.

Sir Anthony remortgaged his Glandore property with AIB in early 2009 at the height of the financial crisis, shortly after he stepped down as chief executive of INM in favour of his son Gavin. He had the property valued at €4.3 million.

It lent him almost €4 million secured on the house as well as on Brookside’s bank balance of €278,000. He also gave the bank a personal guarantee, giving it the right to pursue all of his assets in the event of default.

By the end of 2012, Brookside had zero left in its bank account, and Sir Anthony’s loan had risen beyond €4 million. This month, Indexia began to sell down his INM stake.

He previously also owed the former Anglo Irish Bank about €60 million, although this was reduced to about €35 million when he sold off his stake in smart meter company Landis+Gyr.

Those loans were bought from the bank by Lone Star four months ago, and are also secured on his INM and Providence shares.