U2NEWS: July 19 1998 Part I

Who needs bathrooms? ([email protected])
Sun, 19 Jul 1998 12:28:55 -0600

McGuinness's company, Principle Management (so called because McGuinness
was determined to be more principled than other managers), was employed by
U2 on a commission basis. Kilkenny audited its accounts, too.

The arrangement worked well until the early 1990s when an investment the
two men made in LeisureCorp began to go disastrously wrong. In 1987,
LeisureCorp bought out Pot Black, an arcade owner, and spent about 20m on
several prime sites around Dublin. It also bought rights to Quasar, a
laser-gun game. The plan was to build four leisure complexes - in Dundrum,
Rathmines, Dun Laoghaire and Malahide Road - featuring tenpin bowling and
Quasar. An investment of 22m was planned, financed by the directors and
bank borrowings. Everything stalled when the Irish government changed the
rules for the Business Expansion Scheme in the early 1990s.

LeisureCorp's activities in Germany were a fiasco. It spent 8m on six
sites for leisure centres, only to discover war games with replica guns
were banned in Germany.

By 1993, U2 had had enough and baled out. Pre-boom, LeisureCorp sold off
its properties at a net loss. They included the magnificent Pavilion cinema
site overlooking the seafront in Dun Laoghaire, that was sold to Monarch
Properties, which is now building an apartment block there.


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