Tuesday 19 September 2017

McInerney gets time to prepare survival plan

Tim Healy

THE High Court yesterday extended protection to the troubled McInerney building group until November 2.

Mr Justice Frank Clarke said he would give interim examiner William O'Riordan until October 29 to come up with a full scheme for survival of the group comprising McInerney Holdings, McInerney Homes, McInerney Construction Holdings, McInerney Contracting and McInerney Contracting Dublin, which have combined debts of €200m.

The court heard the examiner believed the group had a reasonable prospect of survival based on investment proposals from US private equity group Oaktree Capital.

Three banks -- Anglo Irish Bank, Bank of Ireland and KBC -- are owed €114m by the group and oppose the survival proposal which they said was put forward on a significant writedown of the debt owed to them.

Rossa Fanning BL, for the banks, said there was no reasonable prospect of survival and asked that any extension of time for the examiner be kept to just two weeks rather than the four weeks being sought by the examiner.

It appeared Oaktree had "metamorphosed" from being an equity investor into the role of bank, Mr Fanning said.

John Hennessy SC, for McInerney, said interrupting the examinership process at this stage would be extremely counter-productive.

Eoin McCullough SC, for the examiner, said a two-week extension would not be a sufficient period of time to come up with the survival plan.

Mr Justice Clarke said the examiner's latest report found there was a realistic possibility at this stage that Oaktree was willing to put up sufficient sums which were said to be greater than would be realised in a situation of insolvency.

It would take some time for the examiner to engage with creditors and shareholders over their acceptance of such a survival proposal and he was prepared to continue court protection until November 2. If no survival scheme was in place by then, a full hearing would take place on November 5 into whether or not the examinership should be confirmed.

Last month, interim examiner O'Riordan was appointed to the group despite the opposition of the three banks.

Irish Independent

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