Thursday 22 March 2018

Court appoints provisional liquidator to Decobake over non-payment of €102k in commercial rates

Decobake shops
Decobake shops

Tim Healy

A BAKERY facing a winding up order over non-payment of €102,000 in commercial rates has offered to make payments over the debt, the High Court heard.

However, as a provisional liquidator had been appointed on Thursday to Decobake of Bachelor's Walk, Dublin, the offer was not acceptable, the court was also told.

Dublin City Council brought the application to appoint a liquidator saying the company is insolvent and unable to pay its debts.  It was done to ensure Decobake's assets are not put out of reach of its creditors, the council said.

Mr Justice Paul Gilligan, who appointed Declan de Lacy as provisional liquidator on Thursday, said on Friday he was not prepared to stay or set aside his order as he deemed it had been properly made to the court.

If the company wished to vary the order, it could bring an appeal to the Court of Appeal, he said.

It was also up to the parties themselves to see if they could come to an arrangement over the debt, he said. 

Decobake, which makes and sells cake decorations and baking products, with a registered address at Claddagh Cottage, Hortland Donadea, Naas, Co Kildare, also operates from a warehouse in Clane, Co Kildare. 

The company's directors are Paul and Margaret Coyle with Mr Coyle the sole shareholder.

Records show the company had 46 employees as of the end of November 2015.

Seeking the appointment of the provisional liquidator, Brian Conroy Bl, for the council, said his client had tried to engage with the company over the rates bill, but this had not been successful.   

Counsel said that arising out of the failure to pay a demand for payment, the council sought the appointment of a provisional liquidator to secure the firms assets on several grounds.

These included that the company's directors had created and registered a floating charge over the firm's assets.

The council's view was the charge was fraudulently created in an attempt to place the company's assets beyond the reach of its creditors, counsel said.

Last December, the City Sheriff's agents were unable to execute the warrants against the company's assets  after they were confronted at Decobake's Dublin premises by a number of aggressive and physically intimidating individuals, counsel said.

It is the council's case that these persons had been brought in to prevent the agents taking possession of the company's goods.

The agents withdrew for their own safety after they were denied access and threatened with violence.

Lawyers for the company then wrote a letter to the Superintendent at Store Street Garda Station claiming the Sherriff's agents had attempted to unlawfully enter the firm's premises. The council denies this, counsel said.

Attempts the company to set aside the District Court warrants over the assets had recently been struck out, and accordingly Decobake is indebted to the council, counsel said.   

Mr Justice Gilligan, in the High Court,  said he was satisfied to appoint Mr De Lacy and granted him powers including allowing him take possession, control of and identify the firms assets and take possession of its books and records.

The court also gave Mr De Lacy the power to investigate the firms bank accounts and if required operate the bank accounts.  

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