Sunday 17 December 2017

Heatsolve fails to delay wind-up over tax arrears

John Mulligan

John Mulligan

The High Court has ordered the winding up of a Ballina-based speciality wire manufacturer despite pleas from its owner and the Government's Western Development Commission to allow it to continue trading.

Heatsolve had claimed it would soon be in a position to begin paying off over €80,000 owed to the Revenue Commissioners if it was permitted by the court to stay in business.

The Revenue Commissioners initiated efforts in August to have Heatsolve wound up on foot of €84,000 it owes the Collector General.

The Mayo company was launched in 2005 by managing director Peter Brady and was backed by Enterprise Ireland, which listed it as a high-potential start-up.

The state agency has invested close to €1m in the company since 2008. Private investors had invested about €500,000 in the business.

It manufactures specialised wire products that are used in applications from domestic heating to medical devices.

But the company has endured difficult trading conditions in the past number of years. That prompted it to restructure, lay off some staff and transfer its manufacturing to China last year.

The Revenue Commissioners initially sent a statutory demand to Heatsolve for the payment of €149,000 due to arrears in taxes, including VAT and employee PRSI contributions.

A significant sum of that money owed was paid by the company to the Collector General.

However, €84,000 remained outstanding and the Revenue Commissioners issued a winding up petition in August.

Heatsolve had asked the High Court to postpone the order. Mr Brady said in an affidavit that the company anticipated a new income stream in the next month or so.

The court was told that should that new revenue be realised, it would take Heatsolve about 18 months to repay the money owed to the Revenue Commissioners.

The chief executive of the Western Development Commission, Ray McGreal, also pleaded with the court to allow Heatsolve to continue trading.

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"We are of a view that a period of time to allow the newly restructured entity would be more appropriate to allow the company to concentrate on generating sales and profits for the company in order to discharge its liabilities and we have been supportive of the company's efforts so far in its efforts to survive in changing market conditions," Mr McGreal told the court.

Judge Gerard Hogan said he sympathised with the sentiments. He said that while he may have been in a position to postpone the winding-up for a few weeks if Heatsolve was about to raise additional funds, or receive an expected payment, he couldn't delay it predicated on an assessment of the company's likely prospects of survival.

Irish Independent

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