Interim examiner appointed to Wexford steel firm

An interim examiner has been appointed by the High Court to a Co Wexford-based steel-fabrication business, which employs 24 people.

The aim of court protection and examinership, for Lodgewood Engineering Ltd, of Ferns, Co Wexford, is to allow a scheme to be put in place with creditors, which, if accepted by the High Court, would allow the firm to survive as a going concern.

The company also operates a garden-machinery centre and sells tools and equipment online.

The company, incorporated in 1997, had been profitable until 2009, but, due to the economic recession and reliance on the construction industry, has been loss-making since 2010.

Mr Justice Henry Abbott granted an application by Ross Gorman BL, for the company, for court protection and the appointment of Neil Hughes, of Hughes Blake Chartered Accountants, as interim examiner.

The judge said he was satisfied that the company was entitled to protection and the appointment of an interim examiner.

He made directions for advertising the petition and returned it for hearing on October 19.

The Judge further directed that creditors be put on notice of the application for the appointment of an examiner.

Mr Gorman, in seeking Mr Hughes’ appointment, said an independent accountant’s report had shown that the company has a reasonable prospect of survival, if certain steps are taken.

These steps include that the company secure funding during the period of court protection. This will provide for the payment of an appropriate dividend to creditors, and fund future cash-flow.

Also required is the acceptance by the High Court of a scheme of arrangement by the creditors and members of the company. This scheme may include the partial write-down of monies owed to existing creditors.

Counsel said the report stated that it would be more advantageous to creditors and members of the company if it continues to trade as a going concern, as opposed to it being wound up.

Counsel said the company was seeking the appointment of an examiner, because the firm had struggled to obtain supplies in recent weeks.


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