Angry subbies owed cash raid sites to seize kit

Grant Prior 14 years ago

An Irish contractor has had to seek High Court protection after subcontractors owed cash following its insolvency started to remove plant and materials from sites.

Directors of Co Cork based Ridge Developments claim they have been threatened by creditors desperate to get their cash back.

The Irish Times reported that the High Court has now appointed joint provisional liquidators to the construction company which employed 24 full-time staff, down from 113 in 2007.

Ms Justice Mary Laffoy yesterday appointed Kieran Wallace and David Swinburne of KPMG chartered accountants joint provisional liquidators to Ridge Developments Ltd, with registered offices at Monahan Road Industrial Park, Cork.

The company was incorporated in 1993 and had a turnover of €75 million in 2007. In December 2009, it had estimated liabilities of €14,886,413 and assets with a net book value of €10,859,964, leaving a shortfall of some €3,853,343.

Gary McCarthy, for the company, said, as it was unable to pay its debts, the directors had on June 22nd advertised the holding of a creditors meeting for July 7th.

The company was seeking a provisional liquidator as certain creditors had gone to its sites and removed assets such as scaffolding, mini-diggers, hand tools, small plant, machinery and timber, counsel said.

There was also a real risk certain creditors would seek to enter vacant units at Mitchelstown and remove fixtures and fittings or damage the units.

The company has two warehouses at Crookstown, Co Cork, where it had scaffolding stock valued at €2 million, the court heard. On June 24th, a creditor had removed four articulated truckloads of scaffolding before the company could prevent it.

While it had secured sites at Ballinspittle with CCTV, it cannot prevent the risk of further removal of assets by creditors due to its cash flow problems, counsel said.

Ms Justice Laffoy was told managing director Claire Keelan and a machine driver had been subjected to intimidation by creditors on Friday and could not allow staff or directors to return to the offices due to fear of abuse and threats.

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