Tuesday 20 February 2018

Liquidator is appointed to three firms in Fleming group

Tim Healy

THE High Court yesterday appointed a liquidator to three insolvent companies in the Fleming building group, which has debts of more than €1bn, following the Supreme Court's decision to end court protection for them.

On the application of ACC Bank, Mr Justice Brian McGovern appointed Tom Kavanagh, of Kavanagh Fennell, liquidator to John J Fleming Construction (JJFC), JJ Fleming Holdings (JJFH) and Tivway Ltd. ACC, which is owed €22m by Tivway, previously appointed a receiver over that company.

Seeking the appointment of Mr Kavanagh, Paul Sreenan SC for ACC said it had previously nominated Kieran Wallace of KPMG, but as another person in that firm had been appointed receiver over Tivway, it was inappropriate that Mr Wallace should be liquidator and ACC was instead proposing Mr Kavanagh.

There was no issue with the professionalism and experience of Mr Wallace and Anglo Irish Bank, owed some €260m, had indicated it had no objection to either Mr Wallace or Mr Kavanagh being appointed, counsel said.

Lyndon MacCann SC, for the Fleming companies, said that while they had no issue with the professionalism or independence of either Mr Kavanagh of Mr Wallace, their nominee for liquidator was Jim Hamilton of BDO Simpson Xavier.

ACC was pursuing "its own agenda", which it was entitled to do, but its wishes were at odds with many of the other creditors and it would be better if Mr Hamilton was liquidator, counsel said. AIB, another large creditor, had no objection.

A solicitor representing some 19 smaller creditors said they supported Mr Hamilton as liquidator and ACC's nominee would have "a different agenda".

Mr Sreenan said any suggestion Mr Kavanagh may have an agenda because he was a nominee of ACC was "reprehensible". Had protection not been granted last year to these companies, ACC would have applied then to have them wound up and it was almost unheard of for a company's nominee as liquidator to be accepted.

Various unsecured creditors were clearly supportive of all these companies had done, counsel added.

Irish Independent

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