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Roundup-SIAC restructure held up

Wednesday, February 19 08:36:42

Building group Siac has said it intends to continue trading normally pending the outcome of a last-minute appeal that threatens to overturn a High Court-approved rescue plan for the business. Mr Justice Peter Kelly last week gave the go-ahead to the plan under which a group of investors - including Siac's owners, the Feighery family - agreed to put E10.5 million into the group. The firm sought court protection from its l,255 creditors, which it owed close to E70 million, last October.

However, the Supreme Court heard yesterday that GDDKiA, the Polish roads authority, which Siac itself is suing for E120 million, has launched a last-minute appeal against Justice Kelly's decision, claiming its rights as a creditor have been unfairly prejudiced. The Chief Justice said the court would hold a priority hearing next week of the appeal by the Polish agency, which claims it is owed some E70 million by Siac companies, against the High Court's approval of the scheme.

The scheme, due to come into operation yesterday, has been deferred until Tuesday, when a three-judge Supreme Court will hear the appeal. The Irish Times

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There is scope for up to 1,000 wind turbines to be constructed in the midlands, a senior executive with Bord na Mona told an Oireachtas committee yesterday. John Reilly said the wind speeds that were available in the midlands were the envy of other European countries and gave Ireland a major competitive advantage.

The maximum number of turbines likely to be built was about 1,000, he said, adding that figures of up to 3,000 that had been mentioned were due to misunderstandings. Mr Reilly was speaking to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Environment, Transport, Culture and the Gaeltacht. Tim Cowhig, managing director of Element Power, which is involved in a wind energy project with Bord na Mona in the midlands, said 185m turbines were currently the most efficient, though that did not mean they would be the ones used. The Irish Times

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Businessman Paddy McKillen has secured permission to subpoena the Department of Finance secretary general John Moran and others to give evidence in his forthcoming action aimed at preventing hundreds of millions of euro of his loans being sold to the billionaire Barclay brothers. Mr McKillen claims communications between certain officials in the department, Nama, and representatives of the Barclay brothers relating to the sale of his loans by Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC) were unlawful and improper.

The claim was made yesterday, when Mr McKillen secured an order requiring four persons, three of whom were said to be officials of the department and one of Nama at the time of the alleged communications, to give evidence in his March 4th action. The Irish Times