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News : Irish Last Updated: Jun 23, 2010 - 9:12:29 AM


NAMA denies claim John Mulcahy was involved in Irish Glass Bottle Site valuation
By Finfacts Team
Jun 22, 2010 - 2:59:28 PM

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The site of the former Irish Glass Bottle plant, Ringsend, Dublin (within red contours). It was purchased at the peak of the boom in 2006 for €412 million, by a consortium led by developer Bernard McNamara. In the same year, Ireland's biggest bank AIB, sold part of its Dublin headquarters, the Bank Centre, to developer Seán Dunne.

Nama (National Assets Management Agency) has rejected claims made in the media and at an Abbey Theatre event at the Peacock Theatre, that commercial property professional John Mulcahy was responsible for valuing what is known as the Irish Glass Bottle Site prior to its sale in 2007 and on this basis, questioning his suitability to now act as Chief Valuer for NAMA, the State agency for toxic property assets, given the collapse in value of that site in the years since its sale.

In early April, NAMA applied a “haircut” or reduction/discountof 87% to the loan provided by Anglo Irish Bank to buy the controversial Irish Glass Bottle site in Ringsend, Dublin in a €412m transaction in 2006. The loan was among the first tranche of €10bn in assets moved to NAMA from the State-owned bank. The discount reflected the collapse in the value of the property, which was written down to €50m by the Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDDA)  - - a plunge of 88% in value.

Becbay, a consortium of three companies - - the State agency Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDDA), Donatex (a limited company controlled by developer Bernard McNamara) and Mempal (a limited company associated with developer Derek Quinlan) together with wealthy individuals organised by Davy Stockbrokers, purchased the former site of a municipal dump in the crazy peak year of the out-of-control property bubble in 2006.

SEE: Finfacts article, Nov 2009; Irish Glass Bottle Site: How the State purchased property it already owned!

Ray Gordon of public relations firm Gordon MRM said today that the claim regarding Mulcahy has most recently been aired by economist David McWilliams in a theatrical show called Outsiders. "We have now written to Mr. McWilliams to point out that these stories are completely untrue and we make the same point to the wider media," Gordon said.

Gordon MRM say Mulcahy did not value the Glass Bottle Site. The firm which he chaired at the time [Jones Lang LaSalle] - - together with Savills did advise the co-owners of the Glass Bottle Site, the State owned Dublin Port company and Ardagh plc, on the sale of that site. But that mandate did not require a valuation to be made on the site. Valuations are typically the responsibility of purchasers not sellers "as no doubt Mr. McWilliams will appreciate."

The firm says the story is also wrong in suggesting that John Mulcahy is now Chief Valuer for NAMA. His role is Head of Portfolio Management. In this role he will be responsible for supervising the management of the portfolios of loans acquired from the participating banks to maximise the repayment to the taxpayer of the debts outstanding. He will not be valuing individual properties within those portfolios no more than a stage star would be expected to personally count the ticket sales each night after their show.

Gordon MRM says it is entirely correct that NAMA be subjected to proper public scrutiny and review. However the scrutiny should be based on facts not anecdotes; the analysis will be all the better for it.

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