Hospital equipment supplier Eurosurgical is likely to owe the Revenue Commissioners a substantial sum when the company's final tax liability is calculated by its liquidator.
The High Court recently appointed George Maloney of RSM as liquidator to Dublin-based Eurosurgical, whose main creditor is Revenue, which had issued it with an assessment for €3 million.
Mr Maloney is investigating Eurosurgical’s activities over a lengthy period leading up to the court’s decision to place it in liquidation. He is also calculating its final Revenue liability, which is understood to be substantial.
There are other creditors, although the number is not thought to be large. Eurosurgical’s business was specialised, and sources said yesterday the suppliers of the equipment that it sold to hospitals often sought up-front payment.
In a deal announced last week, Mr Maloney sold Eurosurgical’s businesses and most of its assets to rival HSL, a move that saved a majority of the group’s jobs.
He retained the company’s book debts – the money due to Eurosurgical from its customers – but HSL has agreed to act as his agent and collect this cash.
Eurosurgical ran into trouble after featuring in an RTÉ programme about alleged breaches of hospital procurement procedures.
It shareholders, siblings Gary, Alan and Allison Kane, agreed to transfer the business to a new company, Gemini Surgical Innovations, subject to the approval of a High Court-appointed liquidator.
In May, they asked the court to appoint David Van Dessel, an insolvency and restructuring specialist with Deloitte, as liquidator. They said he could investigate the proposed transfer to Gemini and establish the liability with Revenue.
Revenue petitioned to have Mr Maloney appointed to Eurosurgical. His firm, RSM, is on a panel used by the tax authorities.
Following a number of hearings, Eurosurgical's shareholders agreed to his appointment. Mr Justice Michael White appointed Mr Maloney a number of weeks ago.
A statement issued earlier this week said that Mr Maloney is continuing with an investigation of Eurosurgical’s operations, both internal and in the marketplace.