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Tony’O’Reilly at the INM AGM in 2004 (Top) and David Duffy on The Real Deal last night.

You may recall how this summer AIB secured judgements against Tony O’Reilly and companies controlled by him for €45million.

In June the Commercial Court heard that he owed approximately €195 million to eight different banks – with AIB reportedly calling him ‘insolvent’ three times during the hearing.

On The Real Deal, a documentary on Tony O’Reilly (by  RTÉ’s David Murphy) broadcast last night, David Duffy, CEO of AIB, pictured above, said:

“People will make all kinds of comments about what they perceive is the reality. We engage in a very simple process, it’s very consistent and it’s equitable and fair and does not differentiate between one person and another. So there is absolutely no question whatsoever that we took an action for a purpose, other than to treat people exactly as everybody else is treated.”

Further to this, readers may also recall how in June, Colm Keena reported in the Irish Times:

“The purchase of three major Irish businesses over the past two years by the billionaire businessman Denis O’Brien involved total bank write-offs of more than €300 million. The deals saw the businessman invest €230 million to acquire the Siteserv Group, the Topaz Group and the Beacon Private Hospital.”

Mr O’Brien, who has a 29.9 per cent stake, is the biggest shareholder in the Independent News & Media. In April last year the group did a deal with its eight banks, which include AIB and Bank of Ireland, where the banks wrote off €138 million of an overall debt of €422 million, in exchange for a shareholding in the group worth approximately €10 million.”

Good times.

Watch back in full here

Related: Ignominious end to career of Ireland’s first business superstar (Ciaran Hancock, Mark Paul, Irish Times, June 27, 2014)

Sir Anthony O’Reilly described as ‘insolvent’ by AIB (Tom Lyons, Irish Times, June 24, 2014)

Banks write off over €300m in three deals with Denis O’Brien (Colm Keena, Irish Times, June 13, 2014)

(Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland)

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13 thoughts on “Written Off

  1. Clampers Outside!

    In exchange for a shareholding in INM?
    Milk wouldn’t go off as quick.

    There will always be the ‘special’ deals for ‘special’ circumstances… and ‘special’ friends… but not the banks won’t be at liberty to divulge all the ‘special’ details because their hands are tied or somethin’…. pfft!

  2. Happy Molloy

    am guessing the difference between Tony and Denis is limited liability?

    I know O’Brien is the father of all evil to a lot of people at the moment but is it just a case that he’s a better business man?

    what do I know anyway, I’m just in the jacks

    1. Clampers Outside!

      The idea that the guy at the top is better goes right out the window when you know that the base he stands on was paid for with brown envelope politics and the accompanying underhanded measures as proven in the Moriarty Tribunal.

      1. Happy Molloy

        well it’s hard to argue with that, he’s well able to butter his own bread, but it’s easy for any of us to insulate ourselves in a limited company provided we aren’t being reckless. seems Antonio could have kept this is mind

  3. Kolmo

    It’s one law for the rich and another law for the rich!

    But seriously – the business/politics nexus in Ireland is always shady, it’s like a country run by used car dealers and estate agents.

  4. Buzz

    When O’Reilly was at the helm of INM group he effectively destroyed it for the ordinary person working there by constantly squeezing so he could extract more and more profit. So he’s a capitalist, that’s what he does. He’s now at the receiving end of it and I have zero sympathy for him. I’m also looking forward to the day when O’Brien gets his backside kicked. The O’Reillys and O’Briens are a scourge because they lack the intelligence to see the bigger picture in business and society. They’re all ego, no soul.

  5. Colm

    I don’t get it.

    AIB pursued Tony O’Reilly for the money he owed them.

    Denis O’Brien didn’t owe AIB any money.

    Where is the inconsistency?

    1. Charles Charlie Charles

      Exactly. Banks went after the assets of a guy who owed them a pile of cash, and sold distressed assets to a guy with a load of cash to spend.

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