NAMA ups action in Limerick developer Robert Butler’s companies

RECEIVERS have been appointed by NAMA to a series of companies controlled by Limerick developer Robert Butler.

RECEIVERS have been appointed by NAMA to a series of companies controlled by Limerick developer Robert Butler.

The national agency has appointed Michael Miland and Des Lennon of Jones Lang Lasalle as statutory receivers to 15 companies in the Robert Butler group.

Established 30 years by the Adare developer and brother of county councillor Richie, the group’s development portfolio includes substantial properties in the Shannon Free Zone and the National Technology Park in Limerick.

Part of the group’s property portfolio is the former Anglo Irish Bank House at Henry Street, Mount Kennett House and Hibernian Insurance House, where his offices are based.

Earlier this year, a palatial residential property built for Mr Butler at Adare sold for less than €1.9 million – more than €10 million less than its original asking price of €12 million in 2008.

The latest accounts filed by the group in May of this year showed that at the end of August 2010, 14 companies had an overall net deficit of €43.7 million.

The companies listed to have a receiver appointed include Robert Butler Holdings Ltd, Robert Butler (Investments) Ltd, Playa Investments Ltd, Mount Kennett Developments Ltd, Robert Butler Group Ltd, Robert Butler Realty Ltd, Dooradoyle BT Properties, Bluefort Properties and Millgrove Properties Ltd.

His half-built Hanging Gardens development on Henry Street, the site of the former GPO, has been stagnant for several years, after he pumped €15m into the project.

The last time Mr Butler spoke regarding that site he said another €12m would be required to complete it. It was to span 12,000 sq ft over five floors.

The group had also planned to build a major development at Punch’s Cross by 2009, which had been in the pipeline since 2007, but it too became a victim of the property crash. That development was to include retail space, offices and 460 car 

While no 103/104 O’Connell Street has been completed, it has remained without a tenant for several years.

In previous sets of accounts, it was noted that NAMA had agreed to provide financial support to the company beginning on a short term basis last year.