High Court appoints joint liquidators to Treasury Holdings

Tuesday 09 October 2012 23.06
Treasury Holdings has debts of €2.7bn
Treasury Holdings has debts of €2.7bn

The High Court has appointed joint liquidators to insolvent property company Treasury Holdings.

The move follows a decision by Treasury not to resist a winding-up application by one of its banks, KBC, over a debt of €55m.

Treasury has debts of €2.7bn, €1.7bn of which is owed to the National Asset Management Agency.

Michael McAteer and Paul McCann of Grant Thornton were appointed joint liquidators to Treasury and 16 related companies.

The court was told KBC Bank still had "deep concern and serious suspicion" about a recent transfer of shareholding from a Chinese subsidiary of Treasury in to a Channel Islands company controlled by one of its co-founders, Richard Barrett.

The court heard there was "a vast difference of opinion" on the value of the asset ranging from €2.2m, which is what Mr Barrett is said to have paid, to €31m in a valuation report submitted to the court.

Mr Justice Brian McGovern described the timing of the transaction as "undesirable" during the hearing of the winding up petition, adding that KBC only became aware of the transaction through an announcement to the Singapore Stock Exchange.

Senior counsel for KBC Lyndon McCann said the liquidator could investigate the transaction, could seek to reverse it and could refer issues to the Director of Corporate Enforcement or the DPP if appropriate.

Counsel for Treasury Michael Collins said he was "taken aback" at how the issue was being presented, given that it would be a matter for the liquidators to examine.

He said if there was any wish to do anything untoward there was "ample opportunity in the weeks and months previously".

Mr Collins said the transaction was done in a very public way.

NAMA has also told the court it believed the explanation given for the transaction was "unsatisfactory and incomplete".

Keywords: nama