600 jobs at risk as examiner appointed to waste company
Published 13/10/2011 | 05:00
MORE than 600 jobs are under threat at a waste and recycling company after it sought protection from the courts.
An interim examiner was yesterday appointed by the High Court to the Mr Binman Group.
The firm, which employs 331 people and another 280 indirectly, has been in difficulty since 2008.
Mr Binman is one of the country's largest recycling companies. Most of its employees are based in the mid-west.
Concern is also mounting amongst the company's 57,000 domestic customers and 5,500 commercial customers for their future refuse collections. The vast majority of the company's business is based in Munster.
In recent weeks, numerous creditors have not been paid by the company. Yesterday, Mr Binman's directors applied to the High Court to enter examinership. Examinership is a process whereby the company is allowed to continue to trade whilst its future is determined.
The firm's cash-flow issues have been reflected in recent cut-price offers, with many believing the offers are priced at an unsustainable rate. The company blamed the downturn on the collapse of the construction boom and said "revenues generated from the provision of waste collection services to the construction sector declined dramatically". Bank of Scotland has also withdrawn its backing for the company.
"Things have now come to a head where we need to source an alternative provider of working capital to ensure the survival" of the company, a spokesman said last night.
The company's depot at Carrick-on-Suir, Co Tipperary, was picketed by Keith Foley of Celtic Hose for much of yesterday, preventing vehicles from entering or leaving the premises.
Mr Foley, from Piltown, Co Kilkenny, said he is owed €16,000 from Mr Binman since last March. He disabled his truck outside the main gate late on Tuesday night.
"I slogged my heart out for this. We do all their repair work and it took a lot of time and they have not paid me a cent," Mr Foley said. "I invoiced them and tried to contact them since last March about this, but got nothing from them."
"I am a sole trader and the Government does not realise the impact something like this has on small businesses," he added. He ended the protest last night.
At yesterday's High Court hearing, Justice Mary Finlay Geoghegan appointed Billy O'Riordan of PricewaterhouseCoopers as interim examiner.
Mr O'Riordan also serves as interim examiner to subsidiary companies, Greenport Environmental Ltd, Rural Refuse & Recycling and Clearpoint Recycling Ltd (the Binman Group).
Mr Binman, which is based in Luddenmore, Grange, Kilmallock, Co Limerick, was established in 1994 by farmer Martin Sheehan.
A full High Court hearing will be heard next Tuesday.