130 jobs under threat as Suir set to be wound up in Tipperary

More than 130 jobs are at risk following the appointment by the High Court of a provisional liquidator to a Co Tipperary-based pharmaceutical manufacturing company.

Suir Pharma Ireland, is located at Waterford Road in Clonmel. It has been making generic medicines for about 40 years in the town but is insolvent and is to be wound up.

At the High Court yesterday the company cited sustained and irreversible losses of €4.9m during the 15 months before March 2015, and a large drop in sales in the US market late last year, for its difficulties.

It projects further losses in 2016 and 2017.

The court heard its parent company, Saneca Pharmaceuticals, was not willing to fund the company and it was left with no other option than to apply to the court for the appointment of a provisional liquidator.

Mr Justice Michael Twomey said he was satisfied to appoint insolvency practitioner Michael McAteer of Grant Thornton as provisional liquidator of the company.

The court also granted Mr McAteer a number of powers, including the ability to allow the company continue to trade, and to take steps to secure the company’s assets.

Barrister Declan Murphy for the company, said in the face of losses sustained, the company’s main shareholders, on the advice of Suir Pharma’s directors, had decided to wind up the company.

The appointment of Mr McAteer would secure and help realise the best value of the company’s assets, including its stock. Counsel said there is a lot of work currently being done on pharmaceutical products at the plant.

The provisional liquidator would be in a position to turn this ‘work in progress’ into a saleable product. The level of employment at the company during any process of finishing off products currently being manufactured would be a matter for the provisional liquidator, counsel added.

Mr McAteer would also accelerate the process of locating potential buyers for the company’s site and manufacturing facility in Clonmel, counsel added.

It was in the best interests of the company and its creditors that a liquidator be appointed.

Counsel said that as well as the drop in sales to the US the company also encountered a quality issue with an ingredient sourced from China used in one of its products.

This had prevented the company from making the product for some months, resulting in a loss of revenue.

The company, which has 134 employees, has had several owners during its existence. Last year, it was sold to Slovakian group Saneca Pharmaceuticals by Munich restructuring company Mutares for an undisclosed amount.

After approving Mr McAteer’s appointment the judge adjourned the matter to June 13.


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