A GROUP OF BANKS has been granted a judgement of €164 million against the developer Seán Dunne over loans given to his companies to buy two hotels in Ballsbridge.
Dunne’s companies had taken out the loans to fund the purchase of the Jury’s Hotel in Ballsbridge, which was one of three bought by Dunne for €375 million in 2005, in one of the most high-profile property sales during the building boom.
Ulster Bank had lent €326 million to fund the purchase of the sites to DCD Builders Ltd, Dunne’s holding company for the project, with the now-defunct Icelandic bank Kaupthing offering a further £84.1 million, according to Wikileaks documents.
RTÉ reports that the action in the Commercial Court today was taken by Ulster Bank which was acting as a security trustee for the syndicate of lenders which had lent the cash to Dunne’s company.
The Irish Times adds that the action had followed a demand from Ulster Bank that DCD repay some €260 million, which when refused was followed by a demand that Dunne pay €163 million himself.
Dunne was not present in court for the hearing. His legal representatives consented to the judgment being issued against him.
Dunne had planned to convert the three Ballsbridge locations into a new complex featuring a 37-storey tower, but An Bord Pleanála refused planning permission in 2007. It approved a less ambitious development on the site late last year.