Northern Ireland

Two property firms go into administration

Two property companies that had been planning major retail developments have been placed into administration.

Emerald Holdings (CI) and GSB Guernsey Trading are both part of the Guernsey-based Orana Group.

An application by Emerald Holdings to build a supermarket on the old Inver bleach works in Larne, County Antrim, was rejected in 2010.

GSB Guernsey Trading had planned to build a supermarket on a 36 acre site at Crescent Link in Londonderry.

That application was also rejected, in December 2012.

The administrations are the latest setback in Northern Ireland for the Orana Group, which is owned by John Farmer.

In 2011, Ulster Bank effectively repossessed The Outlet in Banbridge. It was owned by a joint venture that included another Orana subsidiary.

In September 2012, the group's plan for a major mixed-use scheme in Omagh suffered a blow when Tesco, which was supposed to the anchor tenant, withdrew.

The business journalist Paul Gosling reported on the administration of GSB Guernsey Trading earlier this week.

He said that there had already been interest in the Crescent Link site from another developer.