BIPEP in Liquidation

By December 11, 2017Media

 

Although I am not a party to the Liquidation proceedings it would be improper to comment on any aspect of the due process of the Liquidator, who amongst other tasks will be compiling the final few years Financial Accounts. Neither can I be expected, as a former Non-Executive Director, to be in a position to answer questions on the day to day operations that ought properly to be put to the Executive Directors by the Liquidator directly or questions on matters that arose after my tenure when I’d left the company three years ago.

The media coverage may give an impression to some that I was managing the day to day affairs of the company. I was not. As outlined in the Prospectus I acted as a Non Executive Director. I’m a financial adviser. I am not a property asset management professional. At all times, I have fulfilled my duties as detailed in the Prospectus, during my tenure as a Non-Executive Director at the Board level for BIPEP.

Throughout my tenure to March 2015 I always acted with integrity, participated in meetings and AGMs, constructively challenged when required, assisted in decisions on the basis of information presented to me at the time and properly discharged my duties as a Non-Executive Director. The initial direct public offer in 2007 was at the standards of the EU Prospectus Directive which described the offer for shares, including the dependency on the Executive team as the full- time property professionals. The Executive undertook all due diligence in Europe and elsewhere and managed and controlled the day to day affairs of the business including in Detroit through subsidiaries under their control and reporting to the board of BIPEP.

Throughout my tenure Annual Audited Financial Accounts were produced by PwC at Plc level and reported in detail on the company position. This includes the 2013 Accounts and 2014 Accounts which became available after I had retired and left the company; Specifically;

  • The 2014 Audit which was published after I’d retired and left the company reported net assets of c.€5.525m, that is about 44% of opening equity of the company in 2007.
  • In parallel, in the 2015 AGM held after I retired and left the company, the Executive Directors outlined its plan to grow the then assets of the company over the remaining three years to 70% or more of the opening equity.
  • Therefore, I left a business stabilised and with a clear direction as to its objectives. That is why the catastrophic outcome announced by the Managing Director in 2017 came as a shock. I’m deeply saddened by it for all investors who like myself have lost their money, (in my own case €600k).

Needless to say, I’m dismayed that the business failed in 2017 and that it has led to full losses for investors. I understand how let down and annoyed investors feel. However, key questions regarding the detailed operations of the business and its subsidiaries ought, properly, to be directed to and answered by the senior management team, namely the Executive Directors for the years leading up to 2017.

The company is now going through a formal liquidation process which I am required to respect and so, until that is complete I will not make any further comment.

Eddie Hobbs