The High Court has appointed a provisional liquidator to a company that makes and sells cake decorations and baking products.
Dublin City Council sought an order winding up Decobake Limited, which has operated a store at Bachelor's Walk for several years, over its failure to pay a commercial rates bill of approximately €102,000.
DCC said that a provisional liquidator should be appointed because the company is insolvent and unable to pay its debts and to ensure Decobake’s assets are not put out of reach of its creditors.
Mr Justice Paul Gilligan said he was satisfied to appoint Declan de Lacy of PFK O'Connor, Leddy & Holmes as provisional liquidator to Decobake, which has a registered address at Claddagh Cottage, Hortland Donadea, Naas, Co Kildare.
The appointment was made following an ex-parte application to the court.
On Friday afternoon, when a solicitor for the company offered to make payments to DCC in respect of the unpaid rates, Brian Conroy, for the council, said the offer was not acceptable to it and the provisional liquidator was now in place.
Mr Justice Gilligan said he was not prepared to stay or set aside his order but it was open to the firm to appeal to the Court of Appeal. It was up to the parties and the liquidator to see if they could come to an arrangement over the debt, he added.
As well as its store in central Dublin the company operates from a warehouse in Clane, Co Kildare.
The company's directors are Paul and Margaret Coyle. Mr Coyle is the sole shareholder of the company. Records show the company had 46 employees as of the end of November 2015.
Seeking the appointment, Mr Conroy said his client had tried to engage with the company in respect of the rates bill, but this had not been successful and the firm had neglected to pay the council’s demand. The council was seeking the appointment of a provisional liquidator to secure the firms assets on several grounds. These include a floating charge over the firms assets registered by the company’s directors.
Counsel said the city council view is that the charge was fraudulently created in an attempt to place the company’s assets beyond the reach of its creditors. Dublin City Council had obtained warrants from the District Court in respect of the unpaid rates, and the matter had been referred to the City Sheriff, counsel said.
Last December, the Sheriff’s agents were unable to execute the warrants against the company’s assets after they were confronted at Decobake’s Dublin City premises by a number of aggressive and physically intimidating individuals, counsel said.
Counsel said attempts by the company to set aside the district court warrants had recently been struck out and, accordingly, Decobake is indebted to DCC.
The judge said he was satisfied to appoint Mr De Lacy and granted him powers, including allowing him take possession, control of and identify the firms assets and take possession of its books and records. The court also gave Mr De Lacy the power to investigate the firms bank accounts and, if required, operate the bank accounts.