The Japanese bank said it had pulled out ‘reluctantly’ because of ‘fundamental uncertainties’ about what assets the New Millennium Experience Company was going to be able to hand over.
Last week a controversial report by PricewaterhouseCoopers uncovered black holes in the finances of the troubled attraction. The study found that insufficient funds were set aside to cover the closure of the Dome and no proper register of assets had been kept. Nomura claims that it has not been allowed to see a copy of PwC’s report.
Nomura’s head of principal finance Guy Hands, said: ‘This was a very difficult decision to make but in the circumstances we had no alternative.
‘I feel very sorry for the people of Greenwich and particularly for the Dome’s employees who face an uncertain future through no fault of their own.’
In a statement to the press, Nomura also claimed:
- NMEC’s lack of understanding of who owns the intellectual property relating to the Dome and its assets is likely to adversely impact on Dome Europe’s ability to operate the zones;
- There are various disputes with sponsors where certain sponsors could have claims against various assets of the Dome, including items core to the project;
- NMEC’s undertakings to Dome Europe on ticket price discounting have been broken;
- A number of suppliers to the Dome are claiming ownership of assets and demanding payment for their future use by Dome Europe;
- Rights under the construction contracts relating to the structure of the building may be unenforceable due to lack of compliance by NMEC with repair and maintenance procedures.
Nomura had planned to turn the Dome into a theme park and many said that at £105m the bank was getting a very good deal.
In a survey conducted last month by Accountancy Age in conjunction with Reed Accountancy Personnel, six out of ten FDs called for the Dome to be closed because of its financial difficulties.
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