IBRC seizes property company behind seven SuperValu stores

Property company linked to Caulfield McCarthy group placed in receivership

Mark Paul, Business Affairs Correspondent

Receivers have taken control of the HCJV, a property company linked to the Caulfield McCarthy retail group, one of the State’s biggest SuperValu franchisees with stores and shopping centres in eight locations.

Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC) has appointed Sean McNamara of Smith & Williamson accountants to take control of seven of the properties on foot of unpaid loans totalling more than €80 million, owed by HCJV and several of its subsidiaries, which are also in receivership.

The Caulfield McCarthy group includes outlets at the Hypercentre in Waterford, Loughboy in Kilkenny, Bandon in Cork, Tipperary town, Malahide in Dublin, and Enniscorthy and New Ross in Wexford.

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One property linked to the group, Merchant’s Quay in Cork city, is not part of the receivership. Smith & Williamson named the companies affected as Balfort, Canalridge, Novascot , Simenga, Tamadra Limited and HCJV.

The retail side of the business Caulfield McCarthy Group Retail, is also not in receivership, and the stores, which employ about 1,000 staff, will continue to trade as normal.

“HCJV Property Group today confirms that a receiver has been appointed to manage its property portfolio which includes the Riverview Shopping Centre, Hypercentre and Loughboy shopping centres,” the company said.

“The HCJV Property Group is a separate company to the Caulfield McCarthy Retail Group. The receivership is unrelated to the [eight] Caulfield McCarthy retail group stores. [The] stores are unaffected ... and continue to trade as normal with suppliers, customers and staff unaffected.”

IBRC backed HCJV company director Anne Marie Caulfield, her brother Thomas Caulfield, and John McCarthy, a former employee of SuperValu's owner Musgrave, in a management buyout of the group from its original shareholders in 2004 in a deal reportedly worth up to €70 million.

The loans were due to be sold on by IBRC as part of its liquidation but, according to the receivership appointment notices, it was the bank that put in Smith & Williamson, and not any third party loan buyer.

In the last-filed accounts for HCJV, which were signed off by KPMG in February of this year, the auditors said the company's financial situation was dependent upon "IBRC, or a successor to the company's loans not demanding repayment".

Mark Paul

Mark Paul

Mark Paul is Business Affairs Correspondent of The Irish Times. He also writes the Caveat column