JimenaPulse

About Jimena de la Frontera, the province of Cadiz and Spain as a whole, focused on this small village in the mountains

OEM International collapses, Gibraltar affected

image005 The Gibraltar Chronicle this morning publishes an account of the liquidation of OEM International, one of Robert Noonan’s companies (see the whole article below). Mr. Noonan was the promoter of an airport and a golf course for Jimena, about which we have written extensively in the past (related items here).>

image006 BARCLAYS GIB SEEKS TO RECOVER £17M DEBT AS OEM INTERNATIONAL COLLAPSES

• Govt may face £9m plus bill for works done

by Dominique Searle

OEM International, the major firm which embarked on the Government’s affordable housing projects in the south district – Nelson’s View, Cumberland and Bayview Terraces – and then ran into trouble as the directors fell out in late 2007, has been put into liquidation.

A complex web, that catches in its tangle the to-date suspended law suit by a Prime Trust trustee against her husband, sees Barclays Bank Gibraltar pressing to recover £17m, much of which is high interest penalty charges.
Grant Thornton have been appointed as liquidators, and a creditors meeting was held recently at which a lawyer representing the Government is understood to have indicated that the Government will honour payments for work done. The claim for this is likely to be between £9m and £11m. However that is likely to be subject to arbitration.
Apart from Barclays, a few smaller players have been hit, mostly architects and other professional advisors.
The directors of OEM International, the parent company of other ‘OEM’ entities, are Robert Noonan, the Irish millionaire, understood to have taken a hit in the current financial crisis, and Darren McCoomb the former governor’s ADC turned development high flyer. Neither was reachable for comment on going to press.
It is understood that Barclays in UK may lead on the bank’s push to recover funds.
In autumn 2007 Elaine Noonan, a beneficiary of the trusts investing in the South District projects, issued a writ against Prime Trust, Prime Nominees, Prime Secretaries, Darren McComb and Robert Noonan.
Her lawyers TSN said then that this was an application to replace the present trustees with new trustees and for consequential orders usually made in this type of application. “What has led to our client’s application is a disputed claim by a director of the present trustees to a beneficial interest in the shareholding of OEM International Limited, the company carrying out the Nelson’s View project among others,” it said then
At that time Mr McComb, chief of Prime Trusts Corp and Prime Management and a director of OEM International, said that “The trustees confirm it is us who proposed the change of trustees prior to any claim being made by a beneficiary. The proposal was made as a result of certain disagreements with the beneficiaries,” he said. That case is still on hold.
However, two months later in December 2007, the Gibraltar Government in a dramatic step took over the multi-million OEM International (Gibraltar) affordable housing projects – Nelson’s View, Cumberland and Bayview Terraces. It did so declaring this a bid to protect home buyers from delays that were about to escalate, as the trustees and directors of OEM engaged in a bitter litigation process.
It emerged then that OEM’s financial backers had defaulted on a £3.5 million payment to construction company Haymills. Peter Caruana, Chief Minister, said at that time that the move would not have financial implications for Government which would now step into the developers shoes running the project as it does Waterport Terraces.
El Rocio Trust, part of the OEM web, had, at that stage, already poured over £8 million into the project.
The Government’s wholly owned Company GRP Investments Company Limited took over the developments.

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