IL&P recapitalisation challenge ‘most important in state’s history’

A SHAREHOLDER who is challenging the Government’s recapitalisation of Irish Life and Permanent has told the High Court the legal challenge is one of the most important cases in the history of the state.

Piotr Skoczylas, managing director of Scotchstone Capital, is one of several shareholders who are challenging the recapitalisation through the courts.

In July, despite the opposition of IL&P’s shareholders, the High Court made an order forcing IL&P to accept a cash injection of €2.7 billion from the state.

Yesterday, when the matter was briefly mentioned before the High Court, Mr Skoczylas said the challenge was one of the most important cases in the history of the state as it would expose an “unprecedented abuse of power” by the Irish authorities.

He claimed Finance Minister Michael Noonan was trying “to harass and coerce” shareholders into dropping their case as Mr Noonan understood his case “would not withstand the scrutiny of these proceedings”.

Mr Skoczylas also told the court he wanted to have the action determined by the Commercial Court, the big business division of the High Court.

Two shareholders, Gerard Dowling and Padraig McManus, told the court they support Mr Skoczylas. Another investment fund, Horizon Growth NV, is also challenging the recapitalisation.

Earlier, David Barniville SC, for the minister, said they may bring a motion seeking to have the challenge by some of the shareholders dismissed for a number of issues, including the length of time it had taken them to bring the case.

Mr Justice Henry Abbott adjourned the cases to October, when the new legal term commences.

The judge said that all relevant motions and applications in relation to the case can be made on that date.

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