Goodman firm loses appeal in Blackrock Clinic loans row

Clinic founder Dr Joseph Sheehan claimed Breccia was excluding him from business

Mr Sheehan claimed Breccia “took advantage” by buying loans obtained by him to purchase shares in the Blackrock Clinic for the purpose of now trying to acquire his shares. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Mr Sheehan claimed Breccia “took advantage” by buying loans obtained by him to purchase shares in the Blackrock Clinic for the purpose of now trying to acquire his shares. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

 

The Court of Appeal has ruled that two shareholders in Dublin’s Blackrock Clinic are entitled to redeem their loans taken out to invest in the facility for sums less than those sought by a company controlled by businessman Larry Goodman.

The three-judge appeal court dismissed an appeal by Breccia over a High Court finding that Dr Joseph Sheehan is entitled to an order that the cost of redeeming a loan he had taken out to invest in the facility is €16.9 million, not some €20 million.

The case arises out of the sale in 2006 by health insurer Bupa of its 56 per cent shareholding in the clinic operating company, Blackrock Hospital Ltd (BHL) to others, including Breccia and existing shareholders.

Mr Sheehan, a US-based consultant surgeon who founded the clinic in 1986, along with his brother James, George Duffy and the late heart surgeon Maurice Neligan, claims in his main proceedings Breccia attempted to engineer a situation so he would be excluded from the business.

Buying loans

He claimed Breccia “took advantage” by buying loans obtained by him to purchase shares in the clinic business for the purpose of now trying to acquire his shares. He claims Breccia, which bought his loans from Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, had engineered a situation where he is not receiving dividends which he needs to pay off the loan.

In February 2016, Mr Justice Robert Haughton made preliminary rulings on matters including how much Mr Sheehan would pay Breccia if he was to redeem the loan.

He also ruled, in a separate case by another clinic shareholder, John Flynn and Benray Ltd, of which Mr Flynn is a director, the redemption figure in relation to their loan was €9.3 million and not the €11 million sought by Breccia.

In judgments of Ms Justice Mary Finlay Geoghegan and Mr Justice Gerard Hogan on Monday, the appeal court dismissed Breccia’s appeal over those core findings in both cases.