Monday 19 February 2018

AIB secures €25.9m judgment on Fleming

ALLIED Irish Banks (AIB) has secured a €25.9m summary judgment order against Cork businessman and developer John Fleming over loan guarantees.

The loans were given to Fleming Energy to buy a majority shareholding in a US energy company.

Mr Fleming -- who had previously indicated he wanted to defend the claim -- was no longer advancing a defence, Mr Justice Peter Kelly was told yesterday.

Sarah McKechnie, representing Mr Fleming, said her client was neither consenting to nor opposing judgment. In those circumstances, Mr Justice Kelly granted an application by Bill Shipsey, representing AIB, to enter summary judgment for €25,994,340 plus costs.

The claim arose from a guarantee executed on May 20, 2008 by Mr Fleming, now with an address at Holbrook Close, Billericay, Essex, England.

The guarantee related to all liabilities to the bank, to a maximum €26m, of Fleming Energy, with registered offices at New Cork Road, Bandon, Co Cork, a subsidiary of the JJ Fleming group of companies, and was part of the security provided for credit facilities advanced to Fleming Energy.

The main loan provided to Fleming Energy was $32.4m advanced in June 2007 to assist with the purchase of a 51pc shareholding in Plymouth Energy LLC, a company registered in the US and established to purchase and develop a 57-acre site in Iowa.

AIB said it had agreed not to demand repayment of the loans while companies in the Fleming group were under court protection, but after after protection was ended last March it issued demands for repayment. The bank, also last March, had issued a demand under Mr Fleming's guarantee and some €25.9m was now due and owing, it claimed.

Earlier this year, the High Court appointed a liquidator to three insolvent companies in the Fleming building group, which has debts of more than €1bn, following the Supreme Court's decision to end court protection for them on the basis that they had advanced no reasonable survival schemes.

Irish Independent

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