Thursday 22 February 2018

NAMA opposes appointment of examiner to Whelan companies

Tim Healy

NAMA is opposing the appointment of an examiner to five companies in the Whelan Group, one of the country's largest concrete product suppliers, the High Court has heard. The court will hear the petition for examinership tomorrow.

NAMA has taken over some €50m in debts owed to Anglo Irish Bank by the Whelan companies and is opposing examinership because of a proposed large write-down of the debts of secured creditors.

Anglo was the largest secured creditor of the group, while Bank of Scotland Ireland is owed some €12m.

The Whelan companies, which employ 120 people, say they have a consolidated deficit of some €10m as a going concern rising to about €50m if placed into liquidation.

The companies say if a survival scheme is approved -- including a programme of cost-cutting measures, sale of non-core assets and outside investment -- they could return to profitability next year.

They say their underlying business is sound and, if examinership is refused, the prospects are "bleak" for creditors and employees.

Rossa Fanning, for NAMA, said this was the first petition for examinership involving NAMA and it was opposing it because a large write-down of the debts of the companies' secured creditors was being proposed.

Irish Cement Ltd, owed €4m of a total €10m due to unsecured creditors, and Lagan Cement, owed €383,000, are also opposing examinership.

The Revenue Commissioners, owed some €641,000, has adopted a neutral position.

Mr Fanning said the "very antithesis" of NAMA's statutory purpose was to write down a secured debt.

While various measures were taken to address the various problems, the directors said turnover in the group had contracted further and was expected to be €28m for 2010.

Irish Independent

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