Nama pursues Wicklow developer

 

The National Assets Management Agency (Nama) is pursuing Co Wicklow developer Kevin McNulty for some €86.5 million arising from various loans made by the former Anglo Irish Bank.

Nama said there were issues concerning “grave irregularities” in the security provided for some of the Anglo loans and other issues about certain asset transfers to Mr McNulty’s wife Jessica.

National Asset Loan Management Ltd has brought the action against Mr McNulty, Red Bog, Blessington, Co Wicklow, two of his companies — Ashburton Construction Ltd, and P A Bello Ltd, both with registered offices at Clondalkin, Dublin.

The €86.5 million summary judgment sought against Mr McNulty relates to a 2009 facilities agreement provided by Anglo and to personal guarantees allegedly provided by Mr McNulty in 1998 and 2003 over the liabilities of the two companies.

The case is also against Conal P Byrne, Castlepark, Mill Road, Leixlip, Co Kildare, who is being pursued for €4.1 million arising from a personal guarantee allegedly provided by him in 1998 concerning liabilities of Ashburton.

The proceedings came before the Commercial Court yesterday but were adjourned for three weeks by Mr Justice Peter Kelly after various issues were raised by the defendants. Mr Byrne, representing himself, said he wanted time to get advice and had received some papers just last Friday. Some pages were missing from an affidavit filed by Nama, the court heard.

Mr Justice Kelly said there were large sums involved and the papers should be in order. David Barnville SC, for Nama, said his side, after noting two pages were missing from an affidavit, had served a full set of papers but accepted the defendants should be given some time.

Nama informed Mr McNulty in February 2011 it had acquired his liabilities from Anglo but that bank would continue to administer those. Anglo had carried out the required legal due diligence associated with assets acquired by Nama during which “grave irregularities” were uncovered related to the security proffered to, and relied upon, by Anglo, Nama said.

In an affidavit, Patrick Coen, Nama portfolio manager, said, under the terms of the 2009 loan, Mr McNulty had confirmed the liabilities were secured via Anglo having a first legal mortgage over various units, yards and two mobile phone masts at Clondalkin Business Centre and over a development site at Abbeyleix, Co Laois, to include 21 completed units.

Following the due diligence carried out by Anglo, it appeared, for reasons which Nama had not yet ascertained, the Clondalkin assets were all released to Mr McNulty about January 2008, Mr Coen said. He was advised it was not Anglo’s intention to release all those assets and it only ever intended to release one unit.

Mr Coen also referred to a voluntary transfer of assets to Jessica McNulty, lodged in January 2010, with the area transferred including two units at Clondalking Business Centre which, he said, were the subject of Anglo’s security.

Mr Coen said Anglo’s due diligence unit told Mr McNulty in August 2010 there was no evidence Anglo had agreed to the release of all the Clondalkin properties to him and that it seemed one of the units was to be released but all were released “in error”.

Mr McNulty was also asked to clarify how the Clondakin units ended up in his wife’s name but, Mr Coen said, “no adequate answer” was received.

The due diligence also disclosed irregularities concerning Anglo’s security over the Abbeyleix assets, Mr Coen said. A folio showed Mr McNulty was full owner of that property with effect from January 2005 and Anglo had registered a charge which was cancelled on July 6th 2009 without Anglo’s knowledge or approval and despite the 2009 loan agreement which stated that security was “held” by Anglo over the property, he said.

Despite lengthy correspondence with Mr McNulty, there was failure to address the issues of concern to Nama and Anglo, he said.

A poor quality business plan, inaccuracies in a statement of affairs provided by Mr McNulty and other matters, including misrepresentation concerning receipt of about €1 million of rent, had all led to a recommendation a workout strategy could not beachieved in this case, Mr Coen said.

Letters of demand were served on Mr McNulty and the other defendants in February 21st last.