Petroceltic staff to raise concerns over ‘write-down’ of rights

Senior staff at Petroceltic International are expected to voice concerns about the alleged writing-down of their employment rights, in opposing a survival scheme for the company due to be put before the High Court for approval next week.

About 30 senior staff, including senior executives and management, have voted against the proposed scheme at creditor meetings.

Under the proposals prepared by examiner Michael McAteer, the staff, who are owed some €3.6m, are due to receive just 5% of monies owed to them under “change of control” clauses in their contracts.

It is expected secured lenders and other creditors will either support the scheme, or adopt a neutral position, when Mr McAteer puts it before court on Wednesday.

The scheme was due to be put before Mr Justice Brian McGovern yesterday, but due to additional submissions by Worldview, now its biggest shareholder, and time pressures, the hearing was adjourned to Wednesday.

The judge said that, due to the significance of issues being raised in submissions, he may reserve judgment on the application.

Petroceltic is understood to be on the verge of being bought by Worldview Capital, a Swiss-Cayman fund previously in dispute with Petroceltic’s management.

If the scheme is approved, Worldview will take control of the company for a cash injection of $7.8m (€6.9m).

The proposed scheme also envisages Petroceltic’s 9,000 shareholders effectively wiped out for a nominal payment of 31 cent each.


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