Water company Celtic Pure falls into liquidation

Monaghan company to be wound up after arsenic scare earlier this year

Padraig McEneaney, founder of Celtic Pure. The water company was at the centre of an arsenic scare this year.

Padraig McEneaney, founder of Celtic Pure. The water company was at the centre of an arsenic scare this year.

 

Celtic Pure, the Co Monaghan water company which was at the centre of an arsenic scare earlier this year, has fallen into liquidation after no investment was secured.

At the High Court last month, Mr Justice David Barniville found there to be “no basis of continuing the protection of the court to the company”. Mr Justice Barniville ordered that the company be placed in liquidation and wound up.

Celtic Pure was placed in examinership on August 29th after it sought the protection of the court from its creditors due to the fallout from two investigations. The investigations were launched after naturally-occurring arsenic in some of the company’s batches exceeded regulatory limits.

This resulted in two precautionary product recalls, and a partial closure order being made against the company by the Health Service Executive.

The company, which petitioned the court for the appointment of an examiner, said the recall resulted in some adverse publicity. Declan McDonald of PwC was appointed in the examiner role.

The Irish Times understands an investment process was launched to attract funds into the company in order to restructure. Numerous interested parties are believed to have carried out due diligence with a view to making an investment proposal.

However, Celtic Pure then experienced further water quality issues during the examinership which effectively caused the company to cease trading.

Liquidation

That led to the company being placed in liquidation on November 26th with Mr McDonald of PwC being appointed to the role.

Sources close to the process say a majority of employees at the company have been laid off and it is understood that the liquidator is dealing with the claims from creditors as a matter of priority. The company’s assets and property are also being prepared for sale.

Celtic Pure was a family-run business based in Co Monaghan. It was established in 2000, and in addition to supplying water to some of the largest retailers in the State, it is also the official water of the Football Association of Ireland. The company was recently re-registered as an unlimited company, meaning less financial information is publicly available.

However, the most recently available set of accounts show accumulated profits of €3.8 million. The company’s shares are held by an offshore entity, registered in Jersey in the Channel Islands. Those accounts, relating to 2016, also show the company employed 62 staff during the year.