Sunday Business Post to exit examinership

Wednesday 19 June 2013 18.38
Post Publications is to receive a cash injection from Brindisi Limited
Post Publications is to receive a cash injection from Brindisi Limited

The Sunday Business Post is to exit examinership after the Commercial Court approved a survival plan for the newspaper.

Post Publications is to receive a cash injection through a loan and equity investment totalling €750,000 from Brindisi Limited.

The court was told the newspaper, which employs 74 people, has a reasonable prospect of returning to profitability.

Nine jobs have been shed and the remaining staff have accepted reduced terms and conditions.

They will now be offered an employee share option scheme.

Counsel for the examiner Rossa Fanning said employees had backed the scheme, which included a 6% pay cut, when faced with the stark alternative of the company going into liquidation.

Post Publications had been losing money for four years.

However, it performed better than anticipated during the examinership period and circulation and advertising revenue had held up.

No creditors had voted against the survival plan. Most creditors will receive a fraction of what they are owed.

Mr Justice Peter Kelly had queried why some unsecured creditors were to be treated differently.

However, he accepted the examiner had for commercial reasons proposed that contributors be given preferential treatment to other unsecured creditors as their goodwill was vital for the survival of the newspaper.

The court was told the newspaper relied heavily on freelance journalists and contributors, some of whom could be regarded as people whose profile could drive circulation.

He also said a summary of the scheme of arrangement was "potentially misleading", as it described an investment of €750,000 when in fact it was half investment, half interest-free loan.

The loan would not have to be repaid for a year, he noted.

The judge said he would confirm the survival scheme having received a confidential report that was optimistic on the future prospects for the newspaper.

He also took into account the fact that it performed better than expected during the examinership period.

Continued employment was a matter of great importance to the court, he said.

The newspaper will officially exit examinership tomorrow afternoon.