Court agrees scheme which will allow Golden Pages publishers to exit examinership

by Ann O'Loughlin

The High Court has approved a scheme allowing the publishers of the Golden Pages exit examinership and continue to trade as a going concern and securing the jobs of 73 employees.

Mr Justice Robert Haughton today approved the scheme put together by examiner Neil Hughes in respect of Dublin based FCR Media Ltd, which publishes the Golden Pages directory, and a related firm FCR Tech UAB.

FCR Tech UAB is incorporated in Lithuania and is the Irish based company's sole shareholder and holder of the intellectual property rights to the Golden Pages.

Ross Gorman Bl for Mr Hughes told the court there were no objections to the examiner's scheme, which had secured the approval of the majority of creditors.

The trustees of the firm's pension scheme, who had at an earlier stage of the examinership process expressed their concern about the situation, were supporting the scheme of arrangement.

Revenue was adopting a neutral stance to the application, counsel added.

Counsel also said the publisher had secured fresh investment during the period it was in examinership.

The business had employed 103 workers.

However, as it has decided to cease publishing the print version and focus on its online business a number of employees that have been working in the printing section had been made redundant.

In total some 73 jobs have been saved, counsel said.

The two companies are part of the FCR media group which provides search and advertising services in 10 countries in Europe and has more than 1000 employees across its operations.

They sought the protection of the courts after FCR media group withdrew its interests in the Irish market meaning the firms could no longer pay their debts as they fell due.

Its debts to creditors, including revenue as of July 21st last were €5.5m. The alternative to examinership was a winding-up with a deficit of €8.9 million liabilities over assets.

The appointment of an examiner was sought after the court heard an independent expert had stated in a report that the company has a reasonable prospect of survival and the forecasts for 2017 and 2018 are positive.

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