McKillen says IBRC refused €180m offer

Investor claims liquidator refused offer as part of ‘sustained strategy’ against him

Property investor Paddy McKillen has claimed Irish Bank Resolution Corporation’s special liquidator refused to accept his offer to pay €180 million towards refinancing his loans, which he said was part of a “sustained strategy” against him involving the National Asset Management Agency and Department of Finance that put 750 jobs at risk and was not in the interests of the taxpayer.

Both State agencies have denied his claims that they were involved in putting pressure on IBRC to sell his loans to the billionaire Barclay brothers in Britain in a deal amounting to a loss for the State. Mr McKillen told The Irish Times he has €240 million available now, including the €180 million for IBRC, towards repaying at full value his €800 million loans and a plan in place to repay the loans in full value by 2016.

€2.1 billion
He took issue with Nama's claim, made when it tried to take over his Bank of Ireland loans in 2010, that he and companies of his then owed €2.1 billion to Irish banks.

“I did not owe Irish banks €2.1 billion. Nama grouped together all of the business loans that I had an interest in and I was personally liable for less than a sixth of that amount. All of the loans were and always have been fully performing and backed by high quality income- producing assets,” he said.


“One billion euro of that amount has already been repaid to the State at full value.”

Mr McKillen successfully defeated Nama’s bid to take his BoI loans but the IBRC €800 million Maybourne hotel loans – for the London hotels Claridge’s, the Connaught and the Berkeley – were taken over by Nama, which sold them to the Barclays.

“When I first heard Nama wanted to acquire the loans I was horrified and scared,” he said. “I did not pose any risk to the taxpayer and knew that going into Nama would destroy the business I had carefully built up over 30 years. Using good loans to pay for unrelated bad loans does not make economic sense.”

Clearly incensed, Mr McKillen said: “I would like to know why Nama and later the Department of Finance lobbied and put pressure on IBRC to sell my loans to the Barclays.

“The secretary general of the Department of Finance offered assistance and told the Barclays that he and two of his staff at the Department of Finance remained at their disposal. He did this after my very high-profile litigation against the Barclays in London was under way.”

“This is the best possible deal for the tax payer and I am baffled why the State should decide to support the Barclays, who have no connection to the State and were offering to buy my loans in a very complicated deal that amounted to a major discount and loss for the State.”

A spokeswoman for the Department of Finance reiterated Minister for Finance Michael Noonan’s statement that his secretary general, John Moran, acted properly at all times in his dealings with the Barclays.

Mary Carolan

Mary Carolan

Mary Carolan is the Legal Affairs Correspondent of the Irish Times