RTE is this evening reporting that Johnny Ronan and Richard Barrett’s Treasury Holdings has commenced legal action against NAMA seeking damages and challenging the constitutionality of the NAMA Act. It is not clear from the report but it is probably the application has been made inDublin’s High Court but there are no records of the application there as yet.
RTE reports that Treasury is unhappy with NAMA’s conduct with respect to the Battersea Power Station site on the south bank of the Thames in central London – pictured below – and it seems Treasury believe the company has lost out “on hundreds of millions of euro in potential future profits”
NAMA isn’t commenting save to say it will robustly defend the action.
I’m beginning to lose track of the many official actions taken by Treasury and NAMA against each other which include
(a) Treasury is seeking a judicial review of NAMA’s dealings with its loans and won approval from the High Court inDublin last month to proceed with this review
(b) Last week NAMA obtained charges over several million euro worth of assets including €600,000 of cash as security for costs and damages in the forthcoming judicial review.
(c) NAMA had administrators appointed to the companies which control the Battersea Power Station site last December 2011
(d) NAMA has had receivers appointed to 35 Treasury group companies this year, the latest just last week
(e) Last week NAMA launched an action against Johnny Ronan and Richard Barrett last week aiming to reverse the so-called TAIL transaction where in 2010 on the eve of NAMA taking control of Treasury loans, some €20m of shares were transferred to Richard Barrett and Johnny Ronan for a consideration which most comprised loans. NAMA wants the transaction reversed, Johnny and Richard say the transaction was at open market values is all above board.
From this perspective it seems as if the NAMA/Treasury relationship has completelyt broken down and become almost personal; the progress of the conflict between these big beasts will be watched closely.
UPDATE (1): 2nd May, 2012. The summary details of the case are now available from the Court Service. It seems that there are 19 – yes, 19! – Treasury companies suing both NAMA and National Asset Loan Management Limited – the presence of NAMA as a plaintiff or defendant usually indicates important matters as to the general operation of NAMA are at stake. Some of the Treasury companies have been subjected to receivership action, others like the TSARSKOYE SELO GOLF CLUB ST PETERSBURG appear not to have been affected by the appointment of receivers yet. All 19 companies are represented by international law firm DAC Beachcroft, the 19 are
(1) TREASURY HOLDINGS
(2) SPENCER DOCK DEVELOPMENT CO LTD
(3) SDDS [NO 1] LTD
(4) SDDC [NO 2] LTD
(5) SDDC [NO 3] LTD
(6) SDDC [NO 4] LTD
(7) FAXGORE LTD
(8) RUSHRID LTD
(9) CARRYLANE LTD
(10) CALLSIDE DEVELOPMENTS LTD ,
(11) TREASURY ASIAN INVESTMENTS LTD
(12) BATTERSEA POWERSTATION SHAREHOLDER VEHICLE LTD
(13) COPPER LAKE LTD
(14) VISTABROOK LTD
(15) CHERMONTVALE LTD
(16) DEMIRAS LTD
(17) MAINBROOK LTD
(18) ZAO TSARSKOYE SELO GOLF CLUB STPETERSBURG
(19) PUSHKIN DEVELOPMENT AB
UPDATE (2): 2nd May, 2012. The Financial Times has some detail on the application itself and say it relates to Treasury’s displeasure at NAMA’s handling of the Battersea Power Station project and the loss of an investor, the Malaysian company SP Setia and the consequent loss to Treasury of €400m – that’s 400 million euros – of management fees and an unspecified potential profit share from the eventual full development of the Battersea site, though it is reported that there were to be GBP 4.5bn (€5.5bn) in gross profits over the lifetime of the flagship development. Hmmmm.