Tougher's granted further two weeks by court to find investor
A COMPANY operating a chain of fuel stations has been given a two-week reprieve by a High Court judge before he decides whether or not it has a reasonable prospect of survival justifying further court protection.
NAMA, owed €53m by Tougher's Oil Distributors, had opposed an examiner being appointed to it, arguing the business has no reasonable prospect of survival and examinership would just mean more costs for the agency.
NAMA barrister Lyndon MacCann also raised issues about how Michael McAteer of Grant Thornton was appointed interim examiner to Tougher's by the High Court last month at the petition of the company. NAMA was not informed of the intention to make that application in breach of the NAMA Act 2009, he said.
A report prepared by accountants for NAMA took issue with the view of an accountant, expressed in a report provided at the earlier hearing when the interim examiner was appointed, that the company has a reasonable prospect of survival. Barrister Aidan Redmond, acting for Tougher's, argued there was sufficient evidence to support that view in his side's accountants' report and stressed there are 140 jobs at stake.
He could not fathom how it was not in the interests of NAMA to agree to allow the company a short period to see if it could find an investor, he said.
Mr MacCann said it was very unlikely an investor would be found who would pay off the secured creditors and then invest in the business.