Re: Re: The Opera Centre

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‘Funding not in place’ to complete Limerick’s Opera Centre development (Limerick Leader) 😡

FEARS that the much-awaited Opera Centre development in Limerick may not materialise have been heightened after the company auditors confirmed that “no funding is currently in place to complete the project”.

While the directors of the company believe financial support for the project will be maintained, the auditors BDO said “there is no certainty that this will be the case”.

The company behind the €350m shopping centre – Regeneration Developments Ltd – owed creditors €117.5m by the end of 2008, according to the latest accounts submitted to the Companies Registration Office, which were signed off this January 18.

Some €112m has now been spent on the unbuilt site, which was been in the pipeline for four years, with €86m owed in bank loans. Interest on bank loans rose to €3.6m in 2008, from €1.7m in 2007.

Shareholders loans – which are unsecure – came to €30.7m, while bank borrowings were secured with a guarantee for €50m from three of the directors.

The company, Regeneration Developments, had a loss before taxation of €3.1m that year, nearly double their loss in 2007.

However, their operating profit increased from €15,582 to €205,011, and net assets increased from €1.7m to j4.9m by the year end.

In their report, the auditors raised concerns as to whether “continued funding for day-to-day operations can be maintained” and whether the “directors will be successful in obtaining the necessary financing to develop the sites, should the company decide to do so.”

Given these uncertainties, the auditors said they were unable to determine whether or not an extraordinary general meeting should be called.

“The directors are confident that normal operational expenditure can be met from ongoing income. However, interest is being rolled up on bank loans used to purchase the various properties.

“The directors believe this ongoing support will continue, but there is no certainty that this will be the case,” they stated.

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