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March 3, 2009

Top name in urban renewal is now virtually idle

Liam Carroll’s development work is virtually at a standstill. Once the principal engine of urban renewal in Dublin, churning out shoebox apartments all over the inner city, as well as Ireland’s most unlikely corporate raider, bagging control of Dunloe Ewart and substantial shareholdings in Greencore and Irish Continental Group, Carroll is now virtually idle. The first sign of a crack in Carroll’s armour was the revelation last July that he had lost an estimated € 20 million on the sale of shares in Aer Lingus. He had started building a stake in the airline just six months earlier, using contracts for difference (CFDs). But when the share value fell, he decided to “crystallise his losses” by getting out fast. He has also racked up paper losses of at least € 75 million on his stakes in several publicly quoted companies. And the long-term viability of Zelderbridge, his unlimited holding company, is “dependent on the continued support from group companies and their bankers”, according to a note attached by auditors to its 2007 accounts.

The Irish Times

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