Wednesday 21 August 2019

Court backs pharmacy rescue schemes

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Tim Healy

The High Court has approved survival proposals for three healthcare and pharmacy firms employing 79 people, pending competition clearance.

BOFH Holdings, trading as Health Express Pharmacy, Median Healthcare and Brady's Pharmacy were granted court protection due to financial difficulties last March, when Neil Hughes of Baker Tilly was appointed examiner. An independent expert believed the firms had a reasonable prospect of survival if some conditions were satisfied, including securing investment and the introduction of cost-saving measures.

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Under a modified scheme of arrangement approved by Mr Justice David Barniville, a number of measures are to be implemented, including a Lloyds Pharmacy investment of €972,000 in BOFH and €1m in Median. DBDC Eight Ltd will invest €150,000 in Brady's.

Creditors, including AIB, the Revenue, Everyday Finance and the HSE, were neutral as to the survival proposals.

Mr Justice Barniville, noting it meant the firms could continue to trade and ensure the 79 jobs, was satisfied to approve the scheme.

He said the only difficulty was that the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) also has to approve the scheme in relation to BOFH and Median. While it is anticipated this will be forthcoming, the judge agreed with a suggestion from Gary McCarthy SC that the survival scheme would come into effect 21 days from Thursday, or from when the CCPC grants approval, or whichever is sooner.

Court protection for these two firms would remain until then, while the survival scheme for Brady's would take effect from 5pm on Thursday.

Irish Independent

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