€22m personal debt action admitted to Commercial Court against Tony O'Reilly
A €22.6m personal debt action against businessman Tony O'Reilly has been admitted to the Commercial Court.
This morning, AIB bank asked the Commercial Court, the big business division of the High Court, to fast-track the proceedings against Mr O'Reilly and two of his investment vehicles, Indexia Holdings and Brookside Investments.
High Court Judge Mr Justice Peter Kelly heard that there had been two separate standstill agreements and that Mr O'Reilly and his investment vehicles had been afforded afforded every opportunity to resolve the matter.
"We had no option but to commence the proceedings," said Michael Collins SC, for AIB bank.
"This matter can't go on," added Mr Collins.
Barrister Bernard Dunleavy, representing Mr O'Reilly, told the court that the businessman has been abroad but had returned to Ireland today.
Judge Kelly heard that Mr O'Reilly (78) may wish to bring certain matters to the attention of the court.
It was not disputed that the monies had been borrowed, said Mr Dunleavy, adding that the debts are repayable.
Judge Kelly has given 10 days to Mr O'Reilly to submit a replying affidavit (court statement) to AIB's action.
The case will come back before Judge Kelly on June 23rd next.
Mr O'Reilly is being sued for €22.6m after giving personal guarantees on a loan for personal investments, according to AIB.
Cypriot-registered Indexia, the private investment vehicle that holds some of Mr O'Reilly's stake in Independent News and Media (INM) – publishers of the Irish Independent – is being sued for some €18.5m.
A further €4.1m is being sought from Brookside, an Irish-registered company with an address at Castlemartin Stud Farm.
Mr O'Reilly, the former Chief Executive of INM, is the ultimate beneficiary of the share capital of Indexia and Brookside and had provided guarantees over the investment vehicles' debts.