Greenstar pledges it’s business as usual

Waste management firm Greenstar has vowed it will be business as usual for its 95,000 customers despite a receiver being appointed.

The appointment came after its lenders lost patience over outstanding debts of €83.2m.

David Carson of Deloitte has been put in charge of trying to find a buyer for the company — which employs 800 people — and keeping it in existence.

Only last month, Greenstar’s former parent — the renewable energy group, NTR — said that refinancing discussions between Greenstar and its lenders were “ongoing”.

In a brief statement, NTR said yesterday that “the banks have made their own decision about how they want to move forward and the future of the company is now in the hands of the receiver”.

Yesterday’s developments will not have any immediate negative effect on customers or staff, as the company is set to continue trading as new investors are sought.

It is understood that Greenstar’s seven-bank lending syndicate — Bank of Ireland, AIB, Rabobank, Barclays, Ulster Bank,HSBC, and Certus (formerly Bank of Scotland (Ireland)) — demanded immediate payment after taking the view that there was no prospect of a sustainable restructuring plan being agreed upon.

The demand gave Greenstar “no option” but to facilitate the banks by appointing a receiver.

Greenstar’s directors said it was “regrettable” that the banks chose to take this action as the company “had not missed any scheduled repayments to its banks and was in a strong cash position to continue trading for the foreseeable future”.

The company added: “Greenstar had been working — in good faith with the banks — on the basis that there was an ongoing consensual process to find an investor for the business,” going on to say that it had worked diligently over the course of the past 12 months to market the business and find fresh investment.

It also said it will work hard with the receiver to secure as many jobs as possible.

Mr Carson welcomed that statement from Greenstar and said he would immediately be looking to speak with potential buyers for the company, including those who had previously shown interest. Private equity houses Anchorage Capital, Oak Tree Capital and Gores Group have previously been linked with bids for Greenstar Ireland.

Fianna Fáil’s Seanad-based finance spokesman Darragh O’Brien has called on the Government — as owner of AIB and shareholder in Bank of Ireland — to “get tough” and show leadership in tackling the financial crisis, calling this case “proof that the lack of flexibility and entrepreneurship from our banks is putting jobs at risk and threatening economic growth”.

“Instead of supporting Greenstar in seeking investment, the banks have ensured that the jobs of 800 people are under threat and a company which could have a strong future is at risk of closure,” he said.


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