Northern Ireland

Odyssey Pavilion up for sale by adminstrators for £10m

The Odyssey Pavillion has been put up for sale at a cost of £10m.

Savills, which is handling the sale, said it was a "unique opportunity to acquire Northern Ireland's premier leisure destination".

The entertainment venue, which adjoins the Odyssey Arena and W5 Science Centre, comprises 15 units, including bars and a 12-screen cinema.

It is being sold on the instruction of the administrator KPMG.

Odyssey Pavilion LLP, which had a 150-year lease for the part of the building containing bars and restaurants, went into administration in 2010.

The complex contains a multiplex cinema, ten-pin bowling alley, an IMAX cinema and a range of restaurants, bars and leisure facilities.

Savills said it presented "a significant opportunity to purchase a valuable asset with a view to repositioning the scheme as a leading brand destination and appealing to a broader visitor base and leisure market".

Speaking about the opportunity Ben Turtle, head of Belfast office and director of investments, Savills, said; "The Odyssey complex is Belfast's only dedicated large scale leisure facility and the sale of the Pavilion offers a fantastic opportunity to reposition and rejuvenate this already popular leisure destination to suit the changing leisure marketplace."

When the Odyssey Pavillion went into administration its owner, Peter Curistan, owed Anglo Irish Bank £71m - if the £10m asking price is reached, the bank will still be facing a loss of £61m.

Anglo Irish Bank was nationalised by the Irish government after it was badly hit by the banking crisis and billions of euros of its property loans went bad.

Key role

The bank's name was changed to Irish Bank Resolution Corporation Limited (IBRC) in 2011.

Mr Curistan was instrumental in building the Odyssey.

In 2011, he failed in a legal bid to remove KPMG, the administrator appointed to one of his companies, over an alleged multi-million pound debt.

Mr Curistan sought a High Court ruling that it was unlawful of Anglo Irish Bank to make the appointment.

The Belfast businessman took legal action against Anglo maintaining that he had an offer for £74m for the lease on the table but that the bank blocked the deal because it wanted him to sell to its preferred developer.

A Dublin court judgement from earlier this year discloses who the potential purchasers were the last time the Odyssey was for sale.

That was in 2008 before the Pavillion had been repossessed from Mr Cursitan.

The judgement states that the potential buyers were the developer Shamus Jennings at "an apparent level of £25m"; PBN Limited, controlled by Belfast developers Neil Adair and Patrick Kearney, at "an apparent level of £70 million," and PropInvest Limited, a Channel Islands firm, which had a similar offer to PBN.

The London-based Coffer family were also interested but the judgement did not disclose how much they were offering.

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