Monday 18 December 2017

Seven parties interested in Golden Pages, High Court told

'It was in the interests of all the affected parties that he confirm Mr Hughes as examiner, the judge added.' Photo: Reuters
'It was in the interests of all the affected parties that he confirm Mr Hughes as examiner, the judge added.' Photo: Reuters

Aodhan O'Faolain

There have been seven expressions in interest in acquiring companies involved in specialised sales and marketing and in publishing the Golden Pages directory, the High Court has heard.

Last month the High Court appointed Mr Neil Hughes as interim examiner to Dublin based FCR Media Ltd which publishes the golden Pages directory and related firm FCR Tech UAB. FCR Tech UAB is incorporated in Lithuania, is the Irish based company's sole shareholder and holds the intellectual property rights to Golden Pages.

Both companies form part of the FCR media group which provides search and advertising services in 10 countries in Europe and has more than 1000 employees across its operations.

The decision to seek the protection of courts was made after FCR media group withdrew its interests in the Irish market meaning the firms could no longer pay their debts as they fell due.

In a ruling yesterday afternoon, Mr Justice Michael Moriarty said that on balance he was satisfied to continue the examinership and confirm the "experienced and accredited," Mr Hughes as examiner.

It was in the interests of all the affected parties that he confirm Mr Hughes as examiner, the judge added.

The decision gives the firms up to 100 days to come up with an arrangement with its creditors, which if approved by the High Court, would allow the business to continue to trade as a going concern.

The judge, who noted that time was of the essence in the examinership process, confirmed the appointment after Ross Gorman Bl for Mr Hughes told the court that following the close of the deadline seven parties had indicated to Mr Hughes their interest in the undertaking.

Counsel said that several of the interested parties, whose identity are confidential, are "well known brands" in the marketing and advertising sectors.

Mr Gorman said that Mr Hughes had prepared a report stating his belief the firms have a reasonable prospect of survival if a scheme is approved.

The matter will return before the High Court later this month.

Irish Independent

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