Fishshack and Ouzos restaurants saved in court-approved rescue

Unsecured creditors to get 17.5% of €700,000 owed by Dublin restaurant and pub group

Esprit Investments, owned by Swiss-based Irish millionaire Eric Kinsella, is buying Ouzos Restaurant in Dalkey Dublin, with chef and existing shareholder Raouf Djeffal.

Esprit Investments, owned by Swiss-based Irish millionaire Eric Kinsella, is buying Ouzos Restaurant in Dalkey Dublin, with chef and existing shareholder Raouf Djeffal.

 

Suppliers will lose more than 80 per cent of the €700,000 due to them from the owner of the Fishshack and Ouzos restaurant group in a court-approved rescue of the troubled business.

As part of the plan, Esprit Investments, owned by Swiss-based Irish millionaire Eric Kinsella, is buying the high-profile Ouzos Restaurant in Dalkey Dublin, with chef and existing shareholder Raouf Djeffal. Other backers are bailing out Fishshack.

The group’s owner, PBR Restaurants, sought High Court protection from creditors owed more than €1 million after running into financial difficulty in August, when accountant Neil Hughes of Baker Tilly was appointed as examiner.

In a deal approved by the High Court, suppliers and other unsecured creditors will get 17.5 per cent of the €700,000 that they were due – a total of €122,500.

AIB, 72 per cent-owned by the State, will get 17.5 per cent of a “six-figure” sum due to it from PBR, which was secured against company assets.

Revenue and local authorities will receive more than €200,000 of the €300,000 in taxes and rates that PBR owes them.

They will get 17.5 per cent of the balance as this was due for more than 12 months before the company sought court protection and is thus treated as an “unsecured” debt.

Fishshack

It is understood that the family of founder and shareholder Pádraig Hanley will remain in control of PBR with the aid of un-named private investors. The company will focus on Fishshack, which has four restaurants in Dublin.

They are on Parliament Street in the city centre as well as in Dun Laoghaire, Malahide and Sandycove. PBR is selling Kelly & Coopers pub in Blackrock on the capital’s southside. The deal will save 72 jobs overall.

Esprit Investments confirmed on Monday that it has bought Ouzos and that PBR shareholder, Mr Djeffal, would keep a share in the business and remain as chef.

Mr Hughes said that the 17.5 per cent dividend paid to unsecured creditors was high compared to other such cases, where the norm was less than 10 cent in the euro.

Courts appoint examiners and give protection to companies that are insolvent but can show they have a reasonable prospect of survival. An examiner has up to three months to come up with a rescue plan for the business.