Saturday 29 April 2017

Troubled McInerney cancels listing on ISE and London

John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Almost four decades of being listed on the Irish stock exchange came to an abrupt end for McInerney Holdings yesterday, after the builder said that it could no longer meet the obligations of a listing.

The company, which has been desperately attempting to secure a new equity investment in an effort to prevent an outright collapse of its business, said yesterday that it was cancelling its share listings in both Dublin and London with almost immediate effect.

It's also thought that US private equity house Oaktree Capital, which had previously indicated that it is prepared to invest €40m in McInerney, could be getting cold feet as economic events unfold in Ireland.

The homebuilder applied to enter examinership in August under the weight of significant debts and a sharp slowdown in business. Trading in its shares was suspended at the time.

Scheme

Examiner Bill O'Riordan of PricewaterhouseCoopers is expected to convene a creditors' meeting next week, to present a scheme of arrangement.

A syndicate of three banks that includes Anglo Irish Bank, KBC and Bank of Ireland, has been opposed to the continuing examinership of the building company. They're owed a total of €115m and want the company put into receivership.

Yesterday, the board of McInerney, which is chaired by Ned Sullivan, said a listing was no longer appropriate.

"The board has concluded that it is no longer in the best interests of the company or its shareholders for the company to maintain its listings, as the company is no longer in a position to meet its continuing obligations for listing," according to a statement from McInerney.

It added: "The board has concluded that the continued listing of the shares of the company would jeopardise the successful implementation of any investment or similar arrangement that may be agreed by the examiner to ensure the survival of the company or companies in its group."

Of McInerney's €242m in debts, about €111m was earmarked from transfer to the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA). Last year, the company made a €25m loss and wrote down the value of its landbank in Ireland by 50pc, resulting in a €156m impairment charge.

The group completed 200 homes in the UK during the first half of this year, half of them social housing, and 49 units in Ireland.

Earlier this month, the High Court agreed to extend McInerney's period of examinership to December 3. However, Mr Justice Frank Clarke said he was doing so with "considerable reluctance".

Irish Independent

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