Court told Bill Cullen-owned hotel has reasonable survival prospect

Monday 08 April 2013 20.18
Interim examiner was appointed to hotel in March
Interim examiner was appointed to hotel in March

The High Court has heard that the five-star Muckross Park Hotel in Killarney, owned by entrepreneur Bill Cullen, has a reasonable prospect of survival.

A report prepared for examinership proceedings currently before the court has established 16 credible expressions of interest in the hotel.

An interim examiner was appointed to the hotel last month after Mr Cullen sought court protection following the appointment of a receiver by ACC bank, which is owed €4.6 million.

The court was told the interim examiner had done a "significant amount of work", which had been positive.

He concurred with the report of an independent accountant that the hotel had reasonable prospect of survival as a going concern.

ACC Bank is objecting to the High Court hearing the examinership application for a "variety of reasons".

Declan Murphy SC for the bank said the objections rotated around the ownership of the hotel, which is part owned by Mr Cullen and company.

Mr Murphy said the bank believed it lacked a reasonable prospect of survival.

Having regard to the ownership, the court should decline to hear the application on the grounds of failure to make proper disclosure, he said.

The case has been adjourned to Friday and the appointment of the interim examiner has been continued.

Muckross Park Hotel employs 105 people with further staff hired in summer.

A number of weddings are booked for this year and next.

At a previous hearing, the court was told a new manager had been hired and an extensive cost saving measures had been implemented.

A €4m investment had been promised from an unnamed source.