Investor found for company behind Joe.ie, High Court hears

Investor found for company behind Joe.ie, High Court hears

An investor has been found for the digital media company behind Joe.ie, the High Court has heard.

An investor has been found for the digital media company behind Joe.ie the High Court has heard.

The plan has to get ministerial go ahead and approval from the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission before it is approved by the High Court.

In court on Monday, Mr Justice Michael Quinn was told Greencastle Acquisition Ltd, a newly incorporated Irish company whose sole shareholder is Linton Capital LLP is to make a combined investment in Maximum Media Network Ltd which is behind Joe.ie and and its UK subsidiary totalling €10.5m.

The deal includes a €300,000 investment in a shares subscription in Maximum Media Network, the assumption of the company’s secured liability through a loan agreement with the secured creditor, and the availability of up to €2m in working capital facilities.

The UK subsidiary is subject to a separate insolvency procedure in England and Wales.

Ross Gorman BL for the court appointed examiner told the court ministerial approval will be required because it involves a media company.

Mr Justice Quinn adjourned the matter to September 7 to allow the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission and the minister to sign off on the proposal.

Mr Justice Quinn had appointed Shane MCarthy KPMG as interim examiner to Maximum Media Network (MMN), which was incorporated as “Joe Dotie Ltd” but became MMN in February 2013.

It employs 48 people and ran into significant financial issues, which led to BPC Lending Ireland, which was owed more than €6m, seeking the appointment of an examiner.

The appointment of the examiner was by BPC Lending, of Molesworth Street, Dublin 2, as a creditor of MMN, which has its registered offices at Distillery Building, Fumbally Lane, Dublin 8.

The court heard the €6m debt to BPC Lending represents some two-thirds of the firm's entire debt.

Revenue, which is owed €460,000, and the landlord, BCP Fund Management (not connected with BPC Lending), which says it is owed €187,000 in rent arrears, did not oppose the examinership as long as current liabilities to them are paid during the term of the examinership.

The court heard one of the factors in the downturn in the fortunes of MMN, which had only become loss making in 2018 and enjoyed some 42 million hits a year on its platforms, was a controversy last year when it was revealed a company employee used a "click farm" to artificially inflate engagement numbers. Click farms involve a large group of low-paid workers being hired to click on paid advertising links.

The case will come back before the High Court on September 7 next.

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