Irish Press strike-off will be averted - de Valera
Eamon de Valera, the chairman and chief executive of Irish Press plc, said he regrets that the firm has been listed for involuntary strike-off by the Companies Office for failing to file its returns on time.
The Companies Registration Office listed Irish Press plc - which was behind the newspaper that collapsed nearly 21 years ago - for involuntary strike-off this week. It's over 18 months since it filed accounts.
The involuntary striking off of a company that's still trading, as Irish Press plc is, can have serious consequences. Assets of such a company become the property of the State upon the firm's dissolution, while disqualification orders can also be sought by the director of corporate enforcement against the directors of such a dissolved firm.
Speaking to the Irish Independent, Mr de Valera, inset, said there had been a delay signing off the latest sets of accounts, but that some outstanding accounts had already been signed.
He said the delays in signing and filing were exacerbated by Christmas and the finalising of some outstanding matters. When the latest accounts are filed, the involuntary strike-off will be averted. "They are in the process of being prepared and the 2014 accounts are very close to being finalised," he said. Mr de Valera conceded that the process had taken "far longer than expected".
"It's something I regret," he said. He insisted the outstanding accounts and annual return would be filed with the Companies Office on Monday.
The 'Irish Press' newspaper, which had been founded by Mr de Valera's grandfather, the former President, in 1931, ceased printing in 1995. It was losing money and there were rows with unions prior to its closure as a result of the sacking of the business editor, the late Colm Rapple. The 'Evening Press' and 'Sunday Press' also closed. While the newspapers closed, Irish Press plc continued as a vehicle for other media interests and remained headed by Mr de Valera. Its business now almost entirely consists of its subsidiary, Media and Communications Ltd. It used to own a stake in TippFM.
The latest set of publicly available accounts, for the 24 months to the end of 2012, show that it generated turnover of €8.7m in the period, and an operating loss of €1.2m.
Mr de Valera declined to reveal figures for the years subsequent to 2012, but insisted the accounts for 2013 and 2014 will show a "marked improvement".