Louth manufacturer to exit examinership after court approves plan

Premier Periclase came under pressure amid dramatic energy prices rises

The High Court has approved a survival scheme that will allow a Co Louth-based company that makes magnesium-based heat-resistant products to successfully exit examinership.

Late last year Premier Periclase Ltd was granted the protection of the courts and Neil Hughes was appointed as examiner to the company, which required a large amount of gas to generate the energy it needs to make its products.

It had been successful for many years, but got into difficulties due to the dramatic rise of gas and energy prices over the last year.

The company is a specialist and world leader in making magnesium oxide and magnesium hydroxide products used in the manufacture of heat-resistant lining for furnaces.

It has been operating from a facility at Boyne Road, Drogheda, Co Louth since 1977 and its products are sold all over the world.

Its Munich based owner Callista Turnaround 10 GmbH acquired the business in February 2021.

Previously the court heard that Premier Periclase owed Bord Gáis €2.5 million and electricity supplier Energia €900,000.

When seeking the protection of the courts last December the company claimed that Bord Gáis had threatened to cut off its supply unless it made a substantial payment.

The company said it was unable to make the payment sought, rendering it insolvent and unable to pay it debts.

Approve

On Friday afternoon Mr Justice Brian O'Moore said he was satisfied to approve a scheme of arrangement put together by the firm's examiner Mr Hughes of Baker Tilly.

Gary McCarthy SC for Mr Hughes said there were no objections to the scheme being approved.

The judge, in approving the scheme, which will see the company continue to trade as a going concern, praised the professionalism of Mr Hughes and his team for getting the survival plan over the line.

Under the terms of the scheme, which will see fresh investment come into the company, the company will switch from using natural gas to renewable energy sources.

However, it will take it 18 months to complete that switch.

This will see approximately half of its 94 workers being made redundant, the court heard.

However, it is hoped that after the switch is completed the company would be able to take on more employees.