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Liam Carroll

Construction mogul Liam Carroll falls ill while trying to save empire

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Liam Carroll

Liam Carroll, Ireland's biggest property developer, is in a desperate struggle to save his crumbling empire.

Carroll, who was admitted to hospital over the weekend and is temporarily unable to steer his business, is embroiled in a legal battle to save some of the biggest companies in his 51-company Zoe Group.

The High Court sat late Friday night and allowed Carroll’s lawyers a stay to petition for an examiner until next Thursday.

The Supreme Court in Ireland decided Tuesday not to appoint an examiner to the companies in question as it deemed they were not viable enough to remain in business.

However, Carroll’s lawyers used an obscure law to make a further petition for examinership on Friday.  Senior Counsel for the companies, Michal Cush, gave the High Court new evidence of the companies assets and other economic reports in an effort to gain court protection.

ACC Bank is looking for a debt of over €130m ($194m) to be repaid. The High Court’s Justice De Valera says he needed to verify if this new information supplied by Cush was indeed new before handing down a decision.

ACC had appointed a liquidator to two of the companies and a receiver to the other four, and Justice De Valera has ordered that they not be obstructed from doing their work while he deliberates over the new evidence claim.

If De Valera grants the petition for an examiner to be appointed, all assets will be protected from creditors for 100 days while an examiner works with the company to formulate a plan for survival.

The fate of the Zoe Group could affect the the price that the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) will pay for the bad property loans they are purchasing in an effort to protect the banking industry in Ireland,

Click here to find out how NAMA works

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