One of the Anglo 10 is signing assets over to his wife, according to the Irish Mail on Sunday. I did a backgrounder on Mr Gannon here.
LEADING developer Gerry Gannon is transferring properties worth tens
of millions of euro, including an entire lake and foreshore, into his wife’s name.
The surprise move – initiated with 10 applications to the Property Registration Authority last Wednesday – comes as an increasing number of developers succumb to their massive debts and banks begin to foreclose on loans and seize their assets.
The motivation behind the sudden transfer is unknown – Mr Gannon and his lawyers refused to comment on the matter this weekend.
Mr Gannon is the co-owner of the K Club and reportedly one of the so-called Golden Circle, a group of investors who bought 10pc of Anglo Irish Bank in a secret deal now being probed by the Garda fraud squad.
The 10 borrowed EUR 451m from Anglo to buy the bank’s own now-worthless shares. The bank, now State-owned, has written off EUR 300m of the debt.
This week, Mr Gannon’s solicitors applied to have 10 properties transferred into his wife, Margaret’s, ownership. Nine appear to be unencumbered by mortgages.
One leading commercial lawyer said it could be an attempt to protect assets from any future legal actions.
The properties include an entire lake, Lough Glinn, with an extensive foreshore site on which he had once planned to build a luxury hotel. It was to be opened by former US president Bill Clinton.
There is also a house in a marina development on the shores of Lough Ree; two land banks, one behind Dublin Airport and one astride Clontarf Golf course; and a EUR 3m exclusive K Club home in Co. Kildare at which Mr and Mrs Gannon lavishly entertained guests such as Mr Clinton during the 2006 Ryder Cup.
‘It looks like he’s trying to dispossess himself of these assets,’ said the lawyer. ‘So if the banks were to seek to enforce a personal guarantee, those assets are no longer in his ownership.
‘As his wife probably did not give personal guarantees for large loans or businesses, the banks cannot go after her. Because all but one of these assets are mortgage-free, these would be the easiest for the banks to go after first.
‘The banks could, in fact, go after these properties. But obviously, if Mr Gannon can show he wasn’t trying to avoid any obligation under his personal guarantee, the transfer would be valid,’ the lawyer