Liquidator for chemical manufacturing firm

A provisional liquidator has been appointed by the High Court to a chemical manufacturing company that employs more than 30 people.

Mr Justice Paul Gilligan yesterday appointed Neil Hughes and Joseph Walsh of Chartered Accountants Hughes Blake as joint provisional liquidators to Innovation Enterprises Ltd based at Carrigtwohill, Co Cork.

The High Court was told the application was being made after the Swiss-based parent company, Orphee SA said it is no longer prepared to support the firm.

The company makes, sells, and distributes 200 products including chemical re-agents used in the pharmaceutical industry. Its products are sold to hospitals laboratories and other businesses and medical labs.

Seeking the appointment of the provisional liquidators, Ross Gorman, counsel for the company, said the firm was hopelessly insolvent.

The company had been loss-making for some time and is now unable to pay its debts as they fall due.

In reply to the judge, counsel said it was unclear if any of the jobs at the company could be saved. It is unable to pay the wage bill due at the end of this month, the court also heard.

Counsel said the company had been unable to secure additional investment to allow the firm continue to trade.

A provisional liquidator was needed to secure and preserve the companies assets and to monitor hazardous chemicals that need to be stored at a certain temperature until they can be sold.

If not properly stored, the chemicals would become unusable and valueless.

The matter will return before the court again in February.

Last night, one worker who had been with the company for almost a decade said staff had not been paid for the month of January.

He said they found out at 3pm yesterday that the liquidator had been appointed and many staff had gathered at the Carrigtwohill location.

He said people were very upset.

“They have actually brought in the liquidator and he has explained things to us as best he can,” said the worker who asked to remain anonymous.

“They have said to us we will be looked after via the government facilities and that it will be processed by the Government so basically we should be getting paid, so everyone has said that is acceptable.”

The company, which was set up in 1993 by then managing director Michael O’Donovan, was sold in 2011 to PZ Cormay, which has a significant stakeholding in Orphee SA, with reports at the time putting the value of the transaction at €1.2m.


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