Business World

Wednesday 27 August 2014

SIAC's fresh €150m claim over Polish venture

Gordon Deegan

Published 04/07/2014 | 00:00

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SIAC is one of the biggest construction companies in the country
SIAC is one of the biggest construction companies in the country

The rescued Siac Construction Ltd intends to lodge fresh claims seeking €150m from its ill-fated Polish venture in the next number of months.

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That is according to new accounts filed by Siac Construction Ltd which show that the firm booked net exceptional gains of €41.6m from the examinership process that Siac exited earlier this year.

This contributed to the firm recording a pre-tax profit of €45.12m in the 14 months to the end of February 26th this year and this followed a pre-tax loss of €84.7m in 2012.

Revenues at the firm last year reduced sharply from €112.77m to €45.29m.

Last February, the Supreme Court approved the implementation of a survival plan for Siac that involved existing shareholders, the Feighery family and new backers, Ducales Trading and Colas to rescue to the troubled firm that was given court protection last October owing €42m to three banks and €26m to trade creditors.

The firm's woes arose from a troubled €360m joint venture road scheme in Poland.

According to a note attached to the accounts, the firm confirms that it has submitted claims for €64m to various fora concerning its Polish business "and is planning to submit claims totalling a further €150m over the coming months".

The note states: "It is to be expected that the contracting authority will defend our actions and pursue counter claims in Poland."

The terms of the examinership scheme of arrangement provide that 20pc of any net amounts recovered in respect of the claims to February 26th 2022 will be paid to unsecured parties of various Siac subsidiaries

The directors' report states "although the group has recognised substantial losses as a result of events in Poland, the directors believe that the group is entitled to recover its contractual entitlements and legal proceedings have been initiated.

It adds: "The group has been and will continue to work with its local and international professional advisors to protect its position and it is likely that the court process will take some time to resolve matters."

The accounts disclose that former CEO Finn Leyden owed the firm €190,000 in an interest free loan on February 26th last and the loan is due to be paid by July 2018.

The figures show that the numbers employed by Siac last year reduced from 187 to 157 with staff costs for 2014 amounting to €10.58m.

The accounts show that 
directors' pay last year increased from €847,000 to €872,000.

The directors have reviewed budgets for the period to the end of 2015 and "these indicate that the group and the company will be in a position to meet their liabilities as they fall due over that period".

Irish Independent

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