Staff at Gerry Barrett enterprises likely to keep jobs

Examiner tells 330 staff their jobs safe if court gives approval to Waltzfire rescue plan

All 330 workers in developer Gerry Barrett’s hotels, cinema and retail park stand to keep their jobs under a rescue plan involving a new investor, Waltzfire.

The Court of Appeal last month confirmed Neil Hughes, of Hughes Blake, as examiner to seven of Mr Barrett's companies, connected to the Meyrick and G Hotels, the Eye Cinema, a retail park and apartments in Galway, which owed €690 million to Deutsche Bank and faced the threat of receivership.

Mr Hughes wrote to their 330 staff on Friday to say that they would keep their jobs if the courts approved a rescue plan under which Waltzfire takes over the businesses.

In addition, under terms of the plan, known as a scheme of arrangement, all the companies' suppliers, the Revenue and local council rates will be paid in full.


Creditors get details

Creditors received details of the scheme on Friday. They are due to meet next Thursday to vote on it.

Mr Hughes’s letter urges them to support the scheme as he is “certain that this represents the best possible outcome for all staff and suppliers”.

If creditors back the plan, Mr Hughes can ask the High Court to approve it. The court can only reject it if creditors show they would be better off in receivership or liquidation.

Deutsche Bank is backing Waltzfire, which comprises property manager, Alanis Capital, hotelier Choice Hospitality and Kensington Ventures, led by experienced cinema operator Lorcan Ward.

Mr Hughes got the court's permission to enter an agreement with Waltzfire last Wednesday. He had already turned down a proposal from Besomhill, a company controlled by Mr Barrett.

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O’Halloran covers energy, construction, insolvency, and gaming and betting, among other areas