* Treasury owned empire from Moscow to Paris
* Wind up brings end to battle with Irish “bad bank”
DUBLIN, Oct 5 (Reuters) - Irish property developer Treasury Holdings is to be wound up, a Dublin court heard on Friday, making it one of the biggest and most high-profile casualties of a property crash that led the country into an EU/IMF bailout.
The company, controlled by developers Johnny Ronan and Richard Barrett, had built up a multibillion-euro property empire that included golf course resorts in Sweden, a five-star hotel in Moscow and offices in Paris.
However most of its debts were transferred to Ireland’s state-run National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) after a building boom came to a sharp halt in 2008. Backed by NAMA, another debtor, Belgian financial group KBC, won consent to have the company wound up.
Lawyers for Treasury, which until recently also owned London’s landmark Battersea Power Station site, told Dublin’s High Court there was “no need for the court to read the papers” as they would not oppose the petition by KBC, which is owed 70 million euros.
Treasury has fought a number of legal battles with NAMA, to whom it owed 1.7 billion euros after the so-called “bad bank” took over its loans. Most recently it lost a case to overturn the appointment of receivers in relation to 35 properties and debts of 900 million euros.
NAMA, which was created in 2009 to purge Irish banks of risky land and development loans and has become one of the world’s biggest property groups, is headquartered in one of the many major buildings Treasury owned during the boom years of Ireland’s “Celtic Tiger” economy.
Treasury had initially opposed the winding-up order, saying KBC would benefit more if it accepted an offer from Morgan Stanley to buy out the loans, but its consent will see the order to wind it up made on Tuesday, leading to the loss of up to 45 jobs in Dublin.