Friday 19 January 2018

Liquidator appointed to well known Dublin restaurant

Dobbins Restaurant
Dobbins Restaurant

Aodhan O'Faolain

A liquidator has been appointed by the High Court to two companies operating the well-known Dublin restaurant, Dobbins, after efforts to finalise an investment agreement failed.

However, it is expected a survival scheme prepared for two other companies operating the ten bedroom Beckett’s Hotel on Leixlip, Co Kildare, will be put before the court for approval later this week.

An investment agreement has been negotiated for them and will be put before creditors on Wednesday. If supported by creditors, it will then be put before the High Court later this week. The Revenue Commissioners has indicated it will oppose the survival scheme proposed, the High Court heard today.

All four companies, which employ some 60 people, had secured court protection last June due to cash flow difficulties caused by loss of business contracts and historic bank debt.

The High Court was told today efforts by examiner Kieran Wallace to secure an investor for the Dobbins companies had failed.

Rossa Fanning BL, for Mr Wallace, said there had been talks with KBC Bank, Dobbins largest creditor on funding after a preferred investor for the Dobbins companies had been selected. However, no investment agreement had been reached, he said.

In the circumstances, counsel said Mr Wallace wished to be discharged as examiner to those companies – Dobbins Holding Company Ltd and Dobbins Wine Bistro Ltd. There was also agreement a liquidator could be appointed to those entities whose directors – Gary Flynn, Fonthill Court, Rathfarnham, Dublin, and Patrick Walsh, Templeroan, Rathfarnham – were previously the restaurant manager and head chef at Dobbins.

On the application of Gavin Simons, solicitor for the Dobbins companies, Mr Justice Brian McGovern agreed to discharge Mr Wallace as examiner of the Dobbins companies and to appoint Andrew O’Leary of KPMG as liquidator of those.

Andrew Fitzpatrick BL, for KBC Bank, said it has appointed a receiver over the Dobbins companies and is anxious the leasehold property occupied by the restaurant at Stephen’s Lane, Dublin 2, be surrendered to the bank as soon as possible.

The court previously heard the Dobbins and Beckett’s Hotel companies – Camrue Holding Company Ltd and Camrue Castering Ltd - had good reputations and a loyal customer base but the fact their assets were acquired during the ‘Celtic Tiger’ years had left them with a high level of debt.

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