Supreme Court dismisses Carroll appeal

The Irish Supreme Court has rejected an appeal to have an examiner appointed to several companies in the Liam Carroll-controlled Zoe building group. Temporary protection had been granted to the companies when the appeal was allowed against the recent High Court ruling after the Dutch-owned ACC Bank sought repayment of a €136 million debt. As the Irish Times report notes, the ruling “[leaves Carroll] exposed to insolvency proceedings from banks owed €1.2 billion by the group.”

The Supreme Court found that it was not possible for the court to reach any conclusion about the prospects of survival of the companies as a going concern “in the absence of any evidence about the likely future development of the property market”. The court found that in order to persuade it that the companies have a reasonable prospect of survival “it is perfectly obvious that the some evidence of likely improvement in the property market is absolutely essential”. The court found that neither Mr Carroll or the independent accountant report on which the group’s survival plan was based “makes any attempt to supply this deficiency”. The court said the opinion of the independent accountant is “explicitly based on a number of assumptions, which are not verified by evidence”.

Adds In the comments zone, Dave provides a link to the Supreme Court ruling. Update From the Irish Times – “The High Court has appointed a provisional liquidator to two companies in Liam Carroll’s Zoe Group following an application by ACC Bank today.” RTE report here.According to [yesterday’s] RTÉ report

The Construction Industry Federation said it noted the Supreme Court decision and said it needed to take some time to consider in full the implications of the ruling.

A spokesman for the Department of Finance said that the decision will have no impact on NAMA and it will proceed as planned.

But can NAMA withstand collapse of developer’s €2billion group?