Michael Whelan: focusing on core businesses

Chesterbridge Developments, the property vehicle owned by developer Michael Whelan, solicitor Paul Hanby and auctioneer Paul Newman restructured its finances to allow Whelan's Moritz Group concentrate its equity from Chesterbridge into its core businesses of house building, property investment and broadband provider Digiweb.

The 2007 restructuring meant neither Whelan nor Moritz invested in the MacDonagh Junction shopping centre in Kilkenny. Chesterbridge recognised an impairment charge of nearly €25m in its accounts in relation to MacDonagh Junction Developments, MacDonagh Junction Holdings and Breren Properties but Whelan's decision not to participate in the development means the impairment has no implication for either Moritz or Whelan.

The Moritz Group has completed 250 housing units out of 700 at its land in Newcastle in Dublin. The land is being developed following the 2007 purchase of the Tenbury group of companies by Moritz. Prior to the purchase, there was a restructuring at Tenbury that resulted in a writedown but because it was made prior to Moritz's acquisition of the group it did not have a financial implication for Moritz.

Moritz Group employs more than 180 people in Ireland and a further 100 people indirectly through its various interests. It is currently developing commercial sites in Galway and Tullamore and is expanding its presence in Romania.