Lagmar group sees shopping centre value fall by £25m
Two major Northern Ireland property firms have said the value of a shopping centre they bought in 2006 has fallen by almost £25m.
Lagmar (Barking), a joint venture between Lagan Developments and Mar Properties, bought Vicarage Field in east London for a reported £74m.
In its 2009 accounts the property was valued at £79m but has now been written down to £55m.
The firm said the move reflects the way property prices have deteriorated.
The details are contained in the firm's recently filed accounts for 2010.
The size of the write down is the director's best estimate, rather than an independent valuation.
The firm owes its creditors almost £85m and the fall in value of the centre now means it now has a total deficit of £30m.
The directors said the company's ability to continue as a going concern depends on the support of its bankers and shareholders but that they are "confident that this funding will continue."
Mortgage documents filed at Companies House suggest the purchase was financed by Anglo Irish Bank.
Lagan Developments is one arm of the Lagan Group. The group is one of Ireland's largest construction businesses with interests in quarrying, house building and infrastructure engineering.
Mar Properties is a Bangor-based firm with property commercial property interests in Northern Ireland, Scotland and England.
Together the two firms have a number of joint ventures under the Lagmar banner, including a planned mixed use development on the old Rolls Royce Factory in Dundonald.
During the property boom they made series of acquisitions in England but as the property downturn began in 2008 Lagmar pulled out of a plan to invest in a major regeneration scheme in Wolverhampton.