No let-up for Irish housebuilder as it struggles to restructure business

Troubled Irish housebuilder McInerney reported a pre-tax loss of €16.9m (£14m) for the first half of this year. The group has been struggling with debts of €242m (£201m).

This included a €5.9m (£4.9m) charge, which the company incurred mainly due to the write-off of its investment in a Spanish apartment development business, Alanda Homes.

The struggling company has been attempting to restructure its finances with about €111m of its €242m debt earmarked for transfer to the National Asset Management Agency. Bankers have withdrawn support for McInerney’s Irish business.

McInerney said in a statement that the future of the group now rests on the result of a restructure – the firm talked to Goldman Sachs last March to advise it on that process - and whether lenders back the raising of new capital. Talks are under way with US private equity company Oaktree Capital about an investment of around €40m in McInerney Holdings.

During the first half of 2010, the group completed 200 homes in the UK and 49 units in Ireland. That compars with 274 and 64 respectively during the first half of 2009. The home-building business in Ireland recorded a €2.3m loss in the first half, while, in the UK, it made an operating loss of €1.25m compared to a loss of €2.9m in the first six months of 2010.

McInerney chairman Ned Sullivan said in a statement: “The loss of the support of the syndicate lenders in Ireland was unexpected and caused us to seek court protections for the business. But progress has been made on the restructuring.”