Last night, Cork property developer Michael O’Flynn was interviewed by Paschal Sheehy on the Six One News about losing control of his business to Blackstone, a US company which had purchased Mr O’Flynn’s loans from NAMA.
He said the following:
I was shocked. My intention was absolutely to work collaboratively with Blackstone. It has always been my policy, whoever local authorities, State agencies, the IDA. Whether you borrow a million, ten million or 1.8 billion it’s always about did you borrow responsibly? And I can tell you Paschal we have always borrowed responsibly. Of course we have had situations where there has been an extraordinary collapse in price, in value and no more than a householder who bought a house and is in negative equity. Like, are they responsible for the negative equity that they find themselves in? We have done our business right. We have always tried to do our business in a proper fashion, we will continue to do so.
Michael O’Flynn featured in RTÉ’s Prime Time documentary ‘Carry On Regardless’ in December 2010 about the lifestyle of Irish property developers in NAMA, where he was filmed flying by helicopter with his family to Down Royal from his Cork home to watch his racehorse finish third.
Mr O’Flynn also received a reported €50,000 from Lucinda Creighton in a defamation case in the High Court in 2012, part of which he donated to Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin.
“Businessman Harry Crosbie has lodged High Court proceedings against the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA). The court action calls on NAMA to stop pursuing any outstanding debt against him. The High Court case also calls for the removal of the receiver from the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre – and also looks for compensation for so called ‘leaks made by NAMA of personal information regarding his financial affairs’.”
“The writing is on the wall after sadly having to leave our amazing building in Dublin’s docklands. The Factory will be continuing from a soon to be announced new premises. Applications to this year’s Screen Acting Programme are now open and information can be found at the factory.ie “
You may recall a post from last week in relation to Cork developer Michael O’Flynn and how his loans are being sold by Nama to global private equity firm Blackstone.
It has been reported that Mr O’Flynn owed his banks €1.8 billion when he entered Nama in 2009, and has now left Nama owing Blackstone €1.1 billion.
Mr O’Flynn also remains in control of his property business.
Further to this, Business Editor of the Irish Times, John McManus recalls how Nama was pitched to the Irish electorate back in 2009 – suggesting that the late former Finance Minister Brian Lenihan and former Taoiseach Brian Cowen either didn’t understand how Nama would work or deliberately misled the Irish public.
It’s pretty clear that the two men [Cowen and Lenihan] either did not understand what Nama was and how it was going to work or instead played fast and loose with the truth in order to get the Nama legislation over the over the line. One suspects it was the latter.
…what did turn out to be at best a fib was the claim that Nama would operate in a way that would make it impossible for the developers who took out the loans to benefit from the writedowns. The Nama legislation did include a clause that the developers could not buy their loans back from Nama but, as we have seen, it was not possible to prevent them having a continued interest in the underlying business and assets once the debt had been written down and sold off by Nama.
Squatters, who did not want to be identified, sit outside a house on Barrow Street in Dublin 4 this afternoon in support of the people who have occupied a house that they say was owned by Nama and otherwise would be vacant. They say that if they are not left there to stay they would be homeless.
Nama decided to enforce loans of some €77 million against businessman Harry Crosbie because he failed to disclose substantial assets when asked to provide details of all assets held by himself and his family to the agency, the Commercial Court has heard.
Mr Crosbie also incorrectly told Nama he had no uncharged assets with the effect the agency provided some €32 million taxpayer’s money to complete the Point Village development when, in fact, Mr Crosbie did hold unencumbered assets, Mr Justice David Keane was told.
Mr Crosbie also misappropriated monies from companies which should have gone to Nama, Paul Sreenan SC, for Nama, said…The case continues.
The 17-storey Elysian Tower in Cork built by the O’Flynn Construction Group and opened in September 2008. It’s the country’s tallest building – 11 metres taller than Dublin’s Liberty Hall. It consists of 211 ‘luxury apartments’, including 37 penthouse apartments, and retail, restaurant, gym and creche facilities.
It’s being reported that the loans associated with Michael O’Flynn, of the O’Flynn Construction Group, are being sold by Nama to global investment firm Blackstone Real Estate.
The Irish Times reports:
In the absence of any information to the contrary, the taxpayers can only conclude that they have given Mr O’Flynn a very large bailout. As far as we know, Mr O’Flynn owed his banks €1.8 billion when he went into Nama in 2009 and has now left Nama owing Blackstone considerably less money – the figure of €1.1 billion being reported.
Mr O’Flynn remains, subject to contradiction by Nama, in control of his company; he just has new bankers. However, some €700 million has been wiped off his debts and sucked up by the taxpayer in one of two ways depending where the writedown took place.
If the writedown occurred when Mr O’Flynn’s loans originally transferred into Nama, the tax payer took the hit in the subsequent recapitalisation capital of the banks. If the writedown occurred when Nama sold the loans on to Blackstone, which is unlikely, the taxpayer has funded it through Nama.