Belfast Telegraph

Debt-hit ex-tycoon Anthony O'Reilly is facing ruin

By Dearbhail McDonald

Former billionaire Anthony O'Reilly is facing the prospect of bankruptcy as banks that stood by him poise to break ranks to chase his debt free assets.

Once Ireland's richest man, Mr O'Reilly now faces a forced sale of all his secured and debt free assets to satisfy a €22.6m debt owed to bailed-out AIB Bank, and is considering bankruptcy in the Bahamas, where he now lives.

The possible nuclear option of bankruptcy by Mr O'Reilly comes after a legal action by AIB led to the effective collapse of an agreement he had negotiated with nine domestic and international banks to whom he owes almost €200m.

The former Belfast Telegraph owner was yesterday refused a six-month grace period by the Commercial Court in Dublin on the registration and execution of the €22.6m judgment in favour of AIB.

Mr O'Reilly had wanted to sell his debt free assets in an orderly fashion, but AIB could now move against them, triggering other banks and creditors to do the same.

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