Sean Dunne: allegedly considerable acrimony with ARC's Kevin Warren

Could Ireland's most controversial and personally ambitious developer, Sean Dunne, yet end up having his property loans managed by the new Asset Resolution Corporation (ARC)? Dunne funded his Ballsbridge acquisitions mainly through Ulster Bank and if that bank decided to sell on some of the Dunne loans they could end up being owned by ARC.

The day-to-day credit management of property loans may or may not become the responsibility of ARC, but if they did, Dunne's companies would be answerable to ARC for repayments and loan performance. It would be ironic if it ever happened that way, considering that Kevin Warren is one of the two chief directors of ARC.

Warren and Dunne have clashed before in court over the sale of the Whitewater shopping centre in Newbridge, Co Kildare. The dispute stemmed from a disagreement over the sale of Dunne's 50% stake in the centre.

Dunne gave highly colourful evidence in 2006 about the stake and Warren's companies and their alleged conduct during the Whitewater saga. The case was eventually settled, but the evidence heard suggested there was considerable acrimony between Warren and Dunne.

Kevin Warren also objected to Dunne's first Ballsbridge planning application which included plans for a 37-storey tower. Warren said in a submission to planners this development was not in accordance with proper planning and sustainable development and that the proposed building heights were not appropriate to the zoning.

Wealth manager and tax expert Warren is the chief driving force behind Warren Private Clients, a fund with €2.4bn of assets under management.

This company was reported, ironically, to be among the losing bidders for the Jurys site. Again the irony would be rich if Dunne's loans ended up being managed by ARC, which will operate with a large measure of influence one presumes from Warren himself.

However there are two reasons to pause over the idea of Dunne loans moving into ARC. One is nobody knows what the precise status of the Dunne loans are, although one can surmise that the collateral underlying the loans has massively collapsed in value.

The second reason for pausing is: would Ulster Bank ever sell on the loans, performing or non-performing? Reports suggest that Ulster has converted some of its debt into an equity position in the Ballsbridge site, but the bank, as is customary, will not comment on such suggestions.

Either way one suspects Dunne, who is now using the Jurys site to run a supermarket called D4 Stores, would rather maintain a relationship with his existing lenders, rather than fall into the hands of those who were promoting ARC last week.