Banned business magnate Peter Curistan may have left £60m-plus debts

Belfast property developer Peter Curistan. Picture Mal McCann
Gary McDonald Business Editor

The West Belfast property magnate who built the Odyssey Pavilion entertainment complex in Belfast 15 years ago may have left more than £60 million of debts.

Businessman Peter Curistan (60) has been banned from being a company director for the next six years.

And the formalities, concluded in a court hearing brought by the Department for the Economy, effectively bring down the career curtain of a one-time corporate colossus who built a raft of landmark projects across Ireland and Britain.

Curistan, one of Northern Ireland's best-known developers, accepted the court's disqualification after admitting overseeing the collapse of his five businesses.

Four of them owed a combined £12.75m, which included debts at his bar and restaurant firm Strike Four (£6,346,147), the Odyssey Bowl (£3,297,486), City Car Parks (£1,946,072) and holding company Sheridan Entertainments Ltd (£1,160,527).

Curistan's other firm, property investment and management firm Sheridan Millennium Limited, which ran the Odyssey Pavilion since its launch in 2001, was said by the court to have entered administration with “unknown assets and liabilities”.

But when it was placed in administration in 2010 by Anglo Irish Bank it had reported debts of more than £50m.

Accountant-turned-investor Curistan, whose address was given as Hampton Park, a cul-de-sac off the Saintfield Road in south Belfast, has consistently claimed to have been “wronged by the system”, and through the years he launched a series of legal actions seeking a return of his properties.

In 2006 former First Minister Peter Robinson used Parliamentary privilege to accuse Curistan with being linked to "IRA dirty money", but never produced any evidence to back up those claims.

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