Nama Moves in on Assets of Indebted Developer Harris

Daily Mail (London), July 23, 2012 | Go to article overview

Nama Moves in on Assets of Indebted Developer Harris


Byline: David Murphy

AT THE height of his Celtic Tiger success, developer Stephen Harris amassed an enormous fortune - splashing the cash on a [euro]900,000 racehorse and a number of pubs.

However, having plundered his amassed fortune, Nama are to sell off several properties and land he owns in a bid to recoup up to [euro]120million of the [euro]272million he owes to several banks.

The National Assets Management Agency has moved in on the highflying Galway businessman's massive portfolio, with receivers now appointed to sell off his assets.

Kieran Wallace and Patrick Horkan of KPMG will now try to recoup as much money as possible by selling off more than 100 properties and sites owned by Mr Harris. It is understood they have already come up with a list of properties that will quickly be put to the market.

Mr Harris's portfolio is estimated to be worth between [euro]80million and [euro]120million, which is still far shy of the mammoth debts he has accrued. It is understood the developer had an astonishing [euro]272million debt, owed to nine banks, before he entered into the Nama process. This included [euro]112.6million owed to Bank of Scotland; [euro]83million owed to AIB; [euro]43million to Anglo Irish Bank; [euro]7.7million to ACC bank; [euro]4.9million to Bank of Ireland; [euro]6.6million to NIB; [euro]4.1million to EBS; [euro]6.5million to IIB bank; and [euro]2.9million to Permanent TSB.

In February, Nama appointed a receiver to Harrko, a company controlled by Mr Harris operating out of his native Galway. The agency has now upped its efforts further by appointing receivers to his vast array of personal assets.

Mr Harris amassed the portfolio during the boom years, including residential properties, commercial developments and sites. His most lavish purchases included a racehorse that cost [euro]900,000.

He even bought a helicopter from former racing driver Eddie Irvine in 2008 - despite the cracks in his property empire having already begun to appear.

In 2002, Mr Harris and builder Joe McNamara formed Harrmack Development and together they built 300 homes in the west. Among their achievements was turning the once rural Doughiska area into a busy new suburb serving Galway city through developing apartments. Mr McNamara and Mr Harris parted ways in 2006 and since then Mr Harris's former business partner has hit the headlines through staging a series of bizarre protests.

In 2010, Mr McNamara, who is believed to have run up debts of [euro]3. …

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