Belfast Telegraph

Nama chases tycoon Quinlan's debts

A tax man turned international investment tycoon has lost control of his exclusive Dublin property portfolio as Ireland's "bad bank" chases his debts.

The National Asset Management Agency (Nama) confirmed a receiver has taken charge of luxury homes along the capital's embassy belt owned by Derek Quinlan and his immediate family.

The former tax inspector turned property financier and speculator part-owns one of Britain's tallest buildings, the Citigroup tower in Canary Wharf, London.

Earlier this week, Mr Quinlan and his British co-investor, Glenn Maud, were forced to put the skyscraper on the market for more than 1.1 billion euro to clear their debts.

It is believed Mr Quinlan spent more than 700 million euro on buying his share of the building, of which 300 million euro was borrowed from Irish banks - a debt transferred to Nama last year.

A poster boy for Ireland's Celtic Tiger, Mr Quinlan originally worked for the Revenue Commissioners before he went into finance, advising investors on the various tax incentives and later becoming one of the most prominent figures to emerge from the Irish property boom.

Leading syndicates of wealthy investors, he built up a prestigious portfolio of properties around the world - including the Savoy Hotel group in London, which they bought for 1.1 billion euro in 2004. As the property bubble burst, he parted company with his investment firm, Quinlan Private, and moved from Dublin to Switzerland with his wife and children.

Nama has revealed a statutory receiver was appointed on foot of Mr Quinlan's failure to present and agree an appropriate business plan for the repayment of loans owed to banks, and in turn the agency.

It is understood Paul McDowell, of Knight Frank Ireland, will take over several properties in the leafy embassy district of south Dublin which have had their multi-million euro price tags more than halved. They include a former embassy on Ailesbury Road and investment properties on Raglan Road in Dublin 4 and Fitzwilliam Square in Dublin 2.

A spokesman for Nama warned other debtors face similar action. "If debtors are unrealistic or unco-operative in their dealings with Nama, we won't hesitate to appoint receivers to protect the taxpayer's interests," he said.

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