Liquidator appointed to Bloxham

 

The High Court has confirmed the appointment of a liquidator to stockbrokers Bloxham. The firm’s largest creditors include National Irish Bank, owed €8.5 million, and the Revenue Commissioners, owed €2.3 million.

The company, a limited partnership, was ordered to cease trading by the Central Bank last month after it was revealed it was undercapitalised and the partners applied to have it wound up saying they saw no prospect of an improvement in its trading position.

The High Court had appointed Kieran Wallace of accountancty firm KPMG as provisional liquidator and Ms Justice Mary Laffoy said today she was satisfied to confirm Mr Wallace as both liquidator and administrator to Bloxham.

The judge was told the company was insolvent, unable to pay its debts and its liabilities exceeded its assets by €13.9 million.

Bloxham’s major creditors and the Central Bank were adopting a neutral position on the petition to have the firm wound up, the court heard.

The firm holds membership of the Irish and London stock exchanges. Based in Dublin’s International Financial Services Centre, it also had offices in Cork, and Limerick and more than 17,000 clients.

Bloxham also has a 83 per cent interest in London based Sonas Partners LLP, which trades on fixed income securities in the UK.

Today, Bernard Dunleavy, for Bloxham, said the company got into difficulties after it discovered regulatory capital had been overstated by €5 million. It was obliged to hold regulatory capital of €5.6 million, the court heard.

The company had recorded a tax liability of €1.3 million as an asset, not a liability, while a pre-payment of €1 million to the Revenue in April 2011 and repayments of loans to directors of €1.7 million were never recorded as having being paid out, it was stated.

After learning this, the company informed the Central Bank of its position and was ordered to cease trading immediately, counsel said. Its membership of the Irish Stock Exchange was also suspended last Monday.

In those circumstances, and because significant claims were likely to be made by various creditors, counsel said the partners agreed the company should be wound up and a liquidator appointed to protect the assets.