Wednesday 22 May 2019

Shareholders agree deal to save Irish toy manufacturer

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Aodhan O'Faolain

A toy-making firm that employs 41 staff in Ireland has exited examinership following an agreement between its shareholders that will ensure its survival.

Last month, Ms Justice Caroline Costello appointed Mr Neil Hughes of as interim examiner to Yvolve Sports Ltd, which makes the popular 'Flicker' scooter and other products for the outdoors and sports.

The appointment was made after the court was told an examiner was required to protect an important contract the firm has with US retail giant Walmart.

A shareholder in the company, Cloverglade, sought the protection of the court due to the bankruptcy of one of its major customers Toys R Us which has resulted in cash-flow problems, and a dispute between Yvolve's Irish and Tiawanese-based directors. Ms Justice Costello had been due to give her decision on whether to confirm Mr Hughes as examiner.

Lawyers for a Tiawanese shareholder in Yvolve and trade creditors had previously asked the judge not to confirm Mr Hughes as the examiner, and argued that the company didn't need to be in examinership.

Aillil O'Reilly BL, for Sino Foreign Trading Company, which is now the majority shareholding in Yvolve, said that it had funds to recapitalise the company and save the jobs.

Marcus Dowling BL, for several of the company's trade creditors, said they supported the Sino proposal and said they are prepared to support the firm in the future if a recapitalisation takes place, but not if it goes into examinership.

Ross Gorman BL, for Cloverglade, asked the court to confirm Mr Hughes as the examiner, due to his client's fear was that the company would go into liquidation if the examinership was discontinued.

His client did not accept the recapitalisation plan would succeed. However the judge's ruling was postponed after the court was told the parties had entered into discussions.

When the case returned before the Judge yesterday the court was told that the petition to have the company placed in examinership was being withdrawn following an agreement between the firm's Irish and Taiwanese-based shareholders that will see the firm recapitalised.

The judge adjourned the matter to later this week to allow issues, including the examiners' fees for work carried out to date, to be resolved.

Irish Independent

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