Treasury Holdings Ltd., an Irish property developer, can appeal a decision by the country’s National Asset Management Agency to appoint receivers for some of the company’s units, a Dublin judge ruled today.
Treasury Holdings showed grounds for its claims that NAMA should have notified the developer it was calling in receivers and that the agency didn’t take into account potential purchasers of the company’s debts, Justice Mary Finlay Geoghegan wrote in the judgment. Geoghegan, of the High Court in Dublin, didn’t rule on the legal and factual issues in dispute.
“Treasury has raised a substantial issue for determination by the court,” Geoghegan wrote in the 88-page ruling.
NAMA had set a Jan. 25 deadline for Dublin-based Treasury Holdings to pay back part of 1.7 billion euros ($2.2 billion) in loans that the government agency held. NAMA was set up to help purge Ireland’s banks of 74.2 billion euros of troubled commercial real-estate loans, for which it paid about 31.7 billion euros.
“We are pleased that the High Court has found that we have raised ‘substantial’ legal issues concerning our treatment by NAMA,” Treasury Holdings said in an e-mailed statement today. The company said it’s open to proposals to secure its future and that of its 400 staff, while satisfying the public organizations that have supported Treasury Holdings during the past two years.
Hines Real Estate Holdings LP and Macquarie Group Ltd. (MQG) made an offer for the loans and “show continued interest and are willing to improve their offers,” Rory Williams, a Treasury Holdings director, said in a telephone interview today.
NAMA appointed the receivers because it was “most likely to deliver the best financial return for the taxpayer,” the agency said in a statement today. “The receivers will remain in place pending the outcome of the judicial review.”
Treasury Holdings owns the Westin Hotel in Dublin and the Irish headquarters of accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.