Belfast Telegraph

Property firm goes into liquidation

A global property empire built by two Irish developers has been torn down after a court liquidated Treasury Holdings.

Johnny Ronan and Richard Barrett's boom-time business has collapsed in the face of shattered property values, a 2.7 billion euro debt and boardroom battles with the National Asset Management Agency (Nama).

Justice Brian McGovern appointed liquidators in the High Court to take immediate control of Treasury and 16 of its subsidiaries. The business was regarded as hopelessly insolvent and its death warrant signed after Belgian bank KBC took the company to court over a 70 million euro debt.

At its height Treasury ran a global empire from Dublin and London buying the Battersea power station by the River Thames in the UK capital, developing the Dublin Convention Centre and operating management businesses out of Shanghai and owning assets in Russia.

The owners' China connections were the source of much dispute with Nama after the bad bank took over one billion euro of loans.

There was an allegation that 20 million euro worth of shares in a Chinese property company held by Treasury were sold to Mr Ronan and Mr Barrett for 100,000 euro and an IOU just before the parent company's debts went into Nama.

Michael McAteer and Paul McCann of Grant Thornton have been appointed official liquidators of Treasury. The move is separate from the appointment of receivers to some of Treasury's assets earlier this year.

"Receivers previously appointed over specific assets will continue to manage and act over these assets, while the liquidators have a duty to all creditors and will be responsible for the unencumbered assets of the company," Grant Thornton said. "It is the intention of the liquidators to ensure that management services provided by Treasury continue uninterrupted, and that the impact of their appointment is kept to a minimum."

A meeting is being planned for the liquidators to brief Treasury staff.

Tipperary-born Treasury co-owner Mr Ronan, 58, was a high profile figure on some social pages and in tabloids - more so for his links to model Rosanna Davison and TV presenter Glenda Gilson.

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