McInerney examiner may ask court for 30-day extension to secure rescue

 

THE EXAMINER to troubled housebuilder McInerney is likely to ask the High Court for a further 30 days to prepare a rescue plan for the group today.

Five companies that make up the group’s Irish business have been under High Court protection from creditors since late August, when Billy O’Riordan was appointed as examiner.

US private equity house Oaktree Capital is bidding to take a stake in the overall group, which has businesses in the Republic and in England, for €40 million, and is committed to invest at least €10 million in the Irish operation as part of a rescue plan.

However, three banks to which the group owes a total of €114 million have been opposed to the examinership since McInerney first went to the High Court in September.

Mr O’Riordan provided High Court judge Mr Justice Frank Clarke with a report outlining proposals for a rescue scheme late last week and the case is due back in court today, with a further hearing scheduled for Friday.

The examiner is likely to seek an extension for 30 days, as the initial 70-day limit on the period of protection allowed to companies in examinership is up this week. The law allows the court to extend that to 100.

The lenders, State-owned Anglo Irish, Bank of Ireland and KBC, opposed the plan on the basis they would get about €90 million in a receivership, while they were being offered about €60 million in settlement of their debt under the proposed rescue plan.

However, some sources interpreted the banks’ argument as a stalling tactic.

State toxic assets agency Nama is due to take over about €80 million due to Anglo Irish and Bank of Ireland.

Both could have to accept a discount when it pays them for the loans.

It is likely they will have to accept some form of writedown under any rescue plan put forward by the examiner.