Thursday 23 March 2017

Merrion Pharma stays silent on €4.3m loan repayment

Merrion specialises in making tablet versions of drugs that are normally taken as infusions.
Merrion specialises in making tablet versions of drugs that are normally taken as infusions.

Paul O'Donoghue

Dublin-listed Merrion Pharmaceuticals has remained silent as to whether it will repay a loan of €4.3m to one of its largest investors at the end of the month.

Merrion specialises in making tablet versions of drugs that are normally taken as infusions. The company currently owes €4.3m in respect of a long term loan from airline developer Irelandia Aviation. It is not expected to be called in. Irelandia's founder and managing partner is Declan Ryan, who is also one of the largest individual shareholders in Merrion with a 13pc stake.

The loan originally fell due as a single-term payment in December 2014. At the end of March 2014 Irelandia agreed to extend the principal repayment term by 18 months and the loan is now due on September 30.

Principal

However, in its annual report Merrion noted that in June "Irelandia said that it had no intention of calling in the repayment of the loan principal".

"However, Merrion is ultimately dependant on Irelandia not seeking repayment of the loan principal within 12 months from the date of approval of these financial statements."

It added: "There is material uncertainty associated with the group's ability...to generate sufficent cash to enable it to repay amounts due to Irelandia and there is material uncertainty associated with the timing of the payment of the Irelandia loan, beyond 30 September 2015."

A spokesman for the company declined to comment. The company is currently in a "quiet period" ahead of the publication of its interim results in the coming weeks, meaning it is unable to comment on most operational matters due to stock exchange rules.

The firm held its annual general meeting yesterday, at which all resolutions, including those re-electing company directors, were overwhelmingly passed.

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