Sunday, 1 February 2009

KBC Ireland seizes prime Dun Laoghaire site

A prime Dublin site controlled by Richard Murphy, the owner of DVD retailer Chartbusters, has been seized by KBC Ireland. The bank, formerly IIB Bank, took control of the site in Dun Laoghaire last week in an effort to secure a multi-million loan it had advanced to Murphy. The bank appointed Grant Thornton insolvency partner Michael McAteer as receiver over the assets of BW Properties, which is controlled by Murphy and has a 25year leasehold interest on the site. The site is on Rochestown Avenue and was valued at €8 million in 2005. It is currently leased to Joe Duffy Motors.

The car dealership is not affected by the receivership and continues to trade from the premises. BW Properties is ultimately owned by a company Lorstan, which is also controlled by Murphy. Lorstan has freehold title to the site, which it leases to BW Properties.

However, Lorstan has been dissolved, prompting KBC to close in on its trading subsidiary. KBC has charges registered against the assets of both companies, according to filings with the Companies Registration Office. Chartbusters, which has 37 outlets around the country, recently went into examinership after amassing debts of about €20 million.

The examiner, Dublin accountant Neil Hughes, will brief staff in the coming days about his plans for the business. It is expected that more than ten outlets will be shut down immediately, as Hughes seeks to curb costs and turn around the business.

Sunday Business Post

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