By Aodhan O Faolain and Ray Managh
The High Court has appointed an interim examiner to a chicken processing company that employs more than 130 people.
Yesterday Mr Justice George Birmingham appointed Michael McAteer of Grant Thornton as interim examiner to both Cappoquin Poultry Ltd (CPL) and to a related company Cappoquin Poultry Holdings Ltd after being informed the business has debts of €6m.
Cappoquin Poultry’s largest unsecured creditor Henry Good Ltd, which is owed €3.9m for supplying chicken feed to Cappoquin Poultry, petitioned the court for Mr McAteer’s appointment on grounds including that CPL is insolvent and to prevent the chicken processor’s assets from being stripped.
CPL’s directors are Perwaiz Latif with an address in Derby, England and Zahid Hussain of Port Na Habhann, Cappoquin, Co Waterford.
CPL supplies local farmers or growers with one-day-old chickens. They house and feed them, until such a time that they are delivered to CPL, who process the chickens.
CPL has been in operation since 2008 after it acquired the assets of Michael D O’Connor Ltd t/a Cappoquin Chickens, which had gone into liquidation.
If appointed, Mr McAteer will have up to 100 days to come up with a scheme, which if approved by the firm’s creditors and the High Court, will allow the company to continue to trade. During the examinership period the business is protected from its creditors.
The application was made ex parte, with only one side represented in court. Moving the petition, Ross Gorman for Henry Good Ltd said his client believes CPL is insolvent, but is also of the opinion that CPL’s business is viable and has a reasonable prospect of survival. Counsel said an independent accountant’s report into the business was being prepared.
Counsel said that Kinsale- based Henry Good Ltd has been supplying feed for both CPL and its predecessor for many years. Counsel said that the level of CPL’s debt grew from €346,000 in December 2010 to €3.98m as of last week.
Henry Good Ltd sought payment for its services but CPL has been unwilling or unable to do so, counsel said. The judge made the matter returnable to a date later this month.
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