Friday 19 January 2018

Directors says Carroll firm can survive

Laura Noonan

DIRECTORS of Liam Carroll's main investment company insisted they were confident of securing back support for their company days after the his two biggest investments passed into the control of two lenders.

The directors' position is revealed in accounts for Hanford Ltd, which were signed off on October 20 and just published by the Companies' Office.

Despite losses of almost €100m in 2008, Hanford's directors insisted the company could be considered a going concern even though its future was "dependent on the availability of continued financial support from group undertakers and their bankers".

"The directors have reviewed financial projections and considered the availability of financial support and, on the basis of this review and discussions with its financiers believe that appropriate funding will be made to the company to enable it to continue at as a going concern," the added.

When the statement was signed by Hanford's directors David Torpey and John Pope -- Carroll's two main lieutenants -- the Supreme Court had already sent a liquidator into his massive Zoe Group.

Two of Hanford's key assets had also fallen out of the firm's control, with AIB taking over its 29pc stake in ICG days before the accounts were signed and Ulster Bank taking control of a substantial portion of Carroll's 29pc Greencore stake.

Mr Carroll's entire ICG stake has since been sold, as has his entire Greencore stake.

Details of Hanford's 2008 performance emerged on the same day as separate filings showed multi-million euro losses for David Courtney's Pecan Properties and Manor Park Homebuilders.

Pecan booked write-downs of more than €31m on its properties during 2009 and closed the year owing almost €165m to Anglo Irish Bank. The directors admitted it was "dependent on the continuing support of the bankers" since its loan facilities had expired and had not been renewed.

They insisted, however, that it was appropriate to consider Pecan a going concern, pointing out that its properties are "fully let on a long-term basis". The most prominent one is Block 1, Harcourt Square, which is rented to the State.

Meanwhile, Manor Park Homebuilders booked losses of €14m in the year ended March 2009, after losing €6.8m on the operating line and suffering a €4.7m surge in interest payments.

The period represents the second full year's trading after DCC sold out its 49pc share in Manor Park for €172m in early 2008, exiting at the height of the boom.

Irish Independent

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