Tuesday 25 April 2017

Validity of Superquinn examiner bid faces court test

Tim Healy

THE High Court will today be asked to decide whether an application to appoint an examiner to the Superquinn chain was validly made.

Ms Justice Mary Finlay Geoghegan will have to rule on whether a meeting last Monday of Superquinn directors was validly resolved.

One director is disputing claims by two others that the company had passed a resolution to bring the petition for examinership.

The court will also have to decide whether the petition was brought within the three-day period as stipulated under the Companies Act and whether the application for court protection constituted "exceptional circumstances".

The hearing of the examinership petition is scheduled for Thursday but the judge is being asked to decide these preliminary issues in advance of that date.

Rescue

An examinership allows a company in trouble to effectively put a rescue plan before the courts for approval. In an examinership, creditors have their debts written down in value, allowing the company to emerge with a strengthened balance sheet and fewer liabilities.

Yesterday, the judge was told by Lyndon MacCann, for the company and two directors, David Courtney and Kieran Ryan, that affidavits had been supplied to the joint receivers last week.

The court also heard that the third director, Simon Cantrell, who disputes the validity of the decision to seek examinership, will also be available for cross-examination.

A solicitor for the Musgrave Group, the company that last week proposed buying Superquinn when it went into receivership, said they intended to make submissions.

If the court decides today that the examinership petition can be heard, the hearing will proceed on Thursday when it will be opposed by the receiver, by Musgrave and by the banks that appointed the receivers.

Irish Independent

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