Beef baron Larry Goodman's company Breccia was restrained by the High Court today from appointing a receiver over the Blackrock Hospital Ltd shares belonging to US-based consultant Joseph Sheehan, a co-founder of the private clinic.
Mr Sheehan, who is living in Illinois, was also granted an injunction by Mr Justice Seamus Noonan restraining Breccia from acting on foot of a letter of demand issued on Thursday last against Mr Sheehan by IBRC special liquidators.
The injunctions restrain enforcement of any security attaching to Mr Sheehan's loan facilities or purported guarantees or selling, transferring or encumbering Mr Sheehan's shareholding in Blackrock Hospital Ltd and Blackrock Clinic Ltd.
Barrister Frank Beatty told the High Court today that Breccia was an unlimited company owned or controlled by Larry Goodman and that a second defendant, Irish Agricultural Development Company, was controlled by Breccia or the Goodman Family Members Trust which had been established in September 1991.
Other defendants in the ex-parte application for injunctions today were Blackrock Hospital Ltd, George and Rosaleen Duffy, who own 20 per cent of the issued share capital of Blackrock Hospital Ltd, and Tullycorbett Ltd, which Mr Sheehan said he believed was controlled by George Duffy.
Mr Sheehan said in an affidavit that on Friday 4th, April 2014, he had signed a loan sale deed which had been sent by his solicitor to the joint special liquidators of IBRC. On the same day he had met Mr Duffy for lunch at Dún Laoghaire Yacht Club.
While there Mr Duffy had confirmed his agreement to Mr Sheehan purchasing Mr Duffy's formerly Anglo Irish Bank loan. He said Mr Duffy was aware at all times that it was a pre-condition of the financing of that purchase that both his, Mr Sheehan's loan, and Mr Duffy's loan would be bought for €24 million.
Mr Sheehan said that on the same day, April 4th, he was informed that a lodgement had been made to Mr Duffy’s bank account and that a sum of more €8 million had been paid to the joint special liquidators on 3rd April to discharge Mr Duffy’s loan only.
“I say that the upshot of this payment was that I was unable to proceed with the purchase of my own Mr Duffy’s loan,” Mr Sheehan said.
He told the court it was his belief that the purpose of Breccia paying the €8 million to the joint special liquidators was to buy and redeem Mr Duffy’s loans with the purpose of preventing the sale of Mr Duffy’s loans to him and thereby deliberately preventing his purchase of Mr Duffy’s loan.
Mr Sheehan said it was clear from the nature of the approach by Breccia and the timing of the offer that it was dependent on the use of Mr Sheehan’s confidential information to Mr Duffy. He described this conduct as entirely unlawful and contrary to Mr Sheehan’s constitutional rights and constituting the misuse of confidential information.
Mr Sheehan was also claiming that Breccia was guilty of acting in breach of its obligation of good faith towards a fellow shareholder.
Mr Goodman has been purportedly attempting to take majority control of the Blackrock Clinic by buying up shareholder loans from IBRC.