Court told that pair fighting IL&P bailout have no right to bring action
TWO shareholders challenging the near-nationalisation of Irish Life & Permanent (IL&P) have no right to bring their actions because they did not hold any shares in the company when their actions were mounted, lawyers for Finance Minister Michael Noonan told the High Court yesterday.
The claim came as Mr Noonan's representatives argued that the High Court should strike out the challenge by Curacao-based investment fund Horizon Growth and Piotr Skoczylas, the chief executive of Maltese hedge fund Scotchstone Capital.
The duo have claimed that the forced €2.7bn bailout of IL&P last summer was unlawful because the bancassurer did not need the amount of capital demanded by the Central Bank.
They also claim that shareholders should not have been diluted to a point where they own just 0.2pc of the company since the sale of Irish Life is likely to net about €1.1bn and that should be considered a shareholder contribution.
David Barniville, for Mr Noonan, said that neither Horizon, who purchased six million shares in IL&P Group Holdings between February and July 2011, nor Mr Skoczylas appeared on the bank's register of members in August 2011 when they brought their challenges.
At the relevant time, Mr Barniville said, both Horizon's and Mr Skoczylas's shares were registered to other entities, who held the shares for the parties' beneficial ownership.
Both Mr Skoczylas and Horizon tried to have their names included on the register after they brought their challenge to recapitalisation, he said.
Mr Skoczylas and Horizon have argued they are members of the company. They also claim that Mr Noonan's construction of membership is restrictive. The hearing continues.