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Kerr gets taste for troubled Fallon & Byrne

Bobby Kerr, the star of Dragon's Den, has emerged among the potential investors in the award-winning Dublin food business Fallon & Byrne. Kerr, chairman of the Insomnia coffee chain, is among 18 bidders for the business.

Entrepreneur Michael Holland's investment vehicle Gonville, which owns Four Star Pizza's Irish franchise, is also among the bidders.

Fallon & Byrne went into examinership this month after it was unable to pay a €1.4m tax bill. Last Friday, Mr Justice Brian McGovern appointed Neil Hughes, of Hughes Blake Chartered Accountants, as examiner to the firm.

Hughes has 100 days to bring in new investment.

Fallon & Byrne was founded in 2006 by businessman Paul Byrne and journalist Fiona McHugh.

The food shop, restaurant and wine seller hit difficulties when, between 2006 and 2009, and unknown to directors, an employee allowed €844,000 in tax arrears to build up.

The woman, a relative of Byrne's, was Fallon & Byrne's financial administrator and misappropriated at least €223,000 from the firm.

Sunday Indo Business