Pronanotect may be struck off over delay in registering accounts

Revenue yet to decide whether €1m raised in BES funding qualifies for relief

Pronanotect raised €1 million from business expansion scheme investors in 2009 and 2010, but the Revenue Commissioners have yet to approve it for business expansion scheme tax relief. Photograph: Joe St Leger

Pronanotect raised €1 million from business expansion scheme investors in 2009 and 2010, but the Revenue Commissioners have yet to approve it for business expansion scheme tax relief. Photograph: Joe St Leger

 

A clean technology company supported by up to €1 million in business expansion scheme investors’ money faces the prospect of being struck off and dissolved for the second time in seven months.

Pronanotect, founded by businessman Declan Conway, best-known for his former involvement with software group, Openet, and trading as Openoils, has been listed for strike-off by the Companies Registration Office.

Companies that fail to file their annual returns and accounts on time with the CRO can be struck off, a move that effectively dissolves them, and which could expose shareholders to liability for debts should the business continue trading.

According to the CRO, Pronanotect was listed for strike-off on March 11th, which leaves it with one month to file returns and avoid dissolution.

Pronanotect raised €1 million from business expansion scheme investors in 2009 and 2010, but the Revenue Commissioners have yet to approve it for business expansion scheme tax relief.

The company intends processing waste plastics to produce clean oil, using technology developed by Polish firm Tovark and Hungarian manufacturer Pinter Muvek, its partners in the project.

This is the second time the company has faced being sanctioned in this way by the registrar. Last September, it was also listed for strike-off, but it subsequently filed financial statements for 2010.


Operational uncertainty
In those accounts, the auditors, Dublin firm Whelan Dowling, said the figures indicated uncertainty as to whether the company could continue as a going concern.

They also stated it was not possible for them to independently confirm that all transactions were properly recorded.

Pronanotect’s backers include Avant Capital Partners, Mr Conway’s own investment vehicle, and money raised from scheme investors.

Mr Conway enjoyed a high profile during the technology boom, and represented Openet at the 2001 Entrepreneur of the Year Awards. His association with the firm ended over a decade ago. Since then, he has been involved in telecoms and energy, and in social entrepreneurship.

Attempts to contact Mr Conway at the weekend for a comment were not successful.