900 jobs under threat after court ruling

ALMOST 900 jobs were under threat in Dublin last night after the High Court appointed a provisional liquidator and interim examiner to a leading hotel and bar group and also appointed an examiner to a laundry company.

Mr Justice John MacMenamin made the order for a provisional liquidator to Grafton Capital Hotel in St Stephen’s Green, The Trinity Capital Hotel in Pearse Street and the Dragon Bar in South Great George Street.

He also ordered an interim examiner to Cafe En Seine, a large cafe/bar in the heart of Dublin, the George bar in South Great Georges Street and the four-bar Howl at the Moon in Lower Mount Street.

All those hotels and bars, which between them employ 321 people, are registered under the business names of Marino Ltd.

In making the application Garry McCarthy, counsel for Marino, said there had been a dramatic downturn in the hotel sector nationwide but particularly in Dublin. He said the group owed AIB €26 million and the bank had set conditions if they were to continue to provide facilities but it still had the support of Anglo Irish Bank to which it owed €120m.

Mr Justice MacMenamin made his orders in respect of Marino returnable for October 6 next.

The High Court also appointed an interim examiner to Linen Supply of Ireland Ltd (formerly known as CWS Boco Ireland Ltd) which employs 566 workers and operates from nine different locations nationwide but mainly in the Dublin area.

The company claims to be the leading vendor in Ireland of washroom hygiene products and textile services.

It supplies sheets, pillowcases and towels to the hospitality and health sectors nationwide but in particular to hotels and restaurants. It focuses on linen rental services, steam and general laundry.

The court was told its managing directors were confident the company had a reasonable prospect of survival and that it could return to profitability next year.

The company incurred losses in the year ended December 2007 and December 2008 and at the end of August last had net estimated liabilities of €700,000 and was trading at a loss. It is operating with the financial support of CWS International through the financing company of the group Haniel Finance BV. However, CWS International recently made known its intention to withdraw its support to the company in the absence of a suitable restructuring through examinership.

The order granting an interim examiner to Linen Supply of Ireland Ltd was made returnable for September 30.

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