RECEIVERS say it will be business as usual for patients, staff and suppliers after taking control of Waterford's Whitfield Clinic.
Anglo Irish Bank appointed Kieran Wallace and Barry Donohue of KPMG as "share receivers" to Euro Care International, the company that owns the hospital, over a debt of €85m yesterday.
The "share receivership" means the hospital itself is not in receivership so any debts it owes cannot be walked away from under its new controllers -- in contrast to suppliers' experience at Superquinn last week.
As a result, receivers were able to reassure patients and staff at the hospital that there will be no changes, despite banks seizing control.
The receivers appointed Philomena Shovlin, a former ceo of St Vincent's Private Hospital in Dublin, as interim manager to run the hospital yesterday and named a number of directors to the board of the company.
The receivers say they have no plans to sell the business as yet. Instead, the focus is understood to be keeping the hospital trading in order to repay the €85m borrowed to finance the development.
Whitfield Clinic was developed by Dr Jim Madden, a Carlow-based dentist, and his developer wife, Mary. The family was also behind a medical development scheme in Carlow that remains at the planning stages. The couple's daughter, Aimee, was CEO of the hospital in Waterford before receivers were appointed.
Euro Care International's debt was secured by shares in the hospital and is also backed by personal guarantees to Anglo Irish Bank from Dr Madden and his wife, according to accounts filed for the company.
The accounts for 2010 show losses of €1.7m, significantly down from €5.4m in 2009.
The hospital was built in part with €12m raised from a group of tax-based investors. Those investors own the hospital building, under a sale and lease-back agreement with the operators. The investors got tax breaks for investing, plus a commitment from the company that it would buy back the premises after the tax breaks run out in 2017.
Last night, the receiver confirmed that the tax-based investors were not affected by the receivership process.
Despite reassurances, tax advisers said losses at the company and the appointment of a receiver cast major doubt over whether the building would now be bought back at a preset price.
Dr James Madden (below) is the founder of Whitfield Clinic (above). Anglo Irish Bank have appointed Kieran Wallace and Barry Donohue of KPMG as "share receivers" to Euro Care International, the company that owns the hospital.