‘Insolvent’ energy firms in liquidation

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‘Insolvent’ energy firms in liquidation


'The court agreed to the appointments after being told that OpenHydro's French parent, which had invested €260m, was no longer prepared to support the enterprises because the companies were loss-making' (stock photo)
‘The court agreed to the appointments after being told that OpenHydro’s French parent, which had invested €260m, was no longer prepared to support the enterprises because the companies were loss-making’ (stock photo)

The High Court has appointed provisional liquidators to two Irish companies involved in the renewable energy sector that employ more than 100 people.

Ms Justice Caroline Costello was satisfied to appoint Michael McAteer and Stephen Tennant of Grant Thornton as joint provisional liquidators to the Dublin-based OpenHydro Group Ltd and its subsidiary Open Hydro Technologies Ltd after being told both companies were “seriously insolvent” with debts of approximately €280m.

The court agreed to the appointments after being told that OpenHydro’s French parent, which had invested €260m, was no longer prepared to support the enterprises because the companies were loss-making.

The application to wind up the companies was made by Naval Energies, which the court heard is the largest shareholder and creditor of the OpenHydro Group, which is involved in activities including the development of turbines which generate power from tidal energy.

Rossa Fanning SC for Naval, which is part of the French marine engineering group, said that on top of what it had already invested in the Irish group it was projected that OpenHydro would make further losses of €128m between now and 2026.

The OpenHydro Group needed €1m a week to survive. Naval Energies had acquired the company in 2013 from those who established it in 2006. In the circumstances, counsel said that it was appropriate, given the complex structure of the group that liquidators be appointed by the court in order to secure assets worth more than €80m.

Ms Justice Costello adjourned to a date in August.

Irish Independent

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