Mr Justice John D Cooke transferred all boardroom powers to examiner Michael McAteer.
This is subject to his not altering the production process and techniques material to the halal accreditation of the business without prior consultation with Mr Latif.
However, Mr Latif is stripped of any managerial decision making on the future of the company.
The company is insolvent with debts of €6m and had been dependent on a large portion of its €23m processing turnover being sold into the British market for Muslim consumers.
Judge Cooke said the retention of the halal processing accreditation through the company’s continued adherence to particular slaughter and butchering techniques laid down under Muslim law was crucially important for the success of the Examinership.
Barrister Rossa Fanning, counsel for the Examiner, said there were 200,000 chickens processed weekly at Cappoquin’s plant and Mr McAteer would not be making changes to the halal processing techniques currently in use.
The judge said any dispute on these matters should be dealt with by the court. He said the transfer of managerial boardroom duties to the Examiner was not being done because of any express or implied misconduct or lack of trust.
Ross Gorman, counsel for the largest unsecured creditor of the company, Henry Good Limited, Kinsale, Co Cork, had sought the appointment of the examiner on the basis that the chicken processing company had a reasonable prospect of survival given the protection of the court.
Mr Brian Kearney, counsel for Cappoquin Poultry Limited and Cappoquin Poultry Holding Limited, said company director Mr Latif was willing to co-operate with the examiner to maintain the vital halal accreditation of the company.
The company directly employs 136 workers and provides work for dozens of associated workers in chicken rearing and provisions. The examiner now has 100 days of protection from its creditors in which to convince the court he can save the company as a going concern.
17 August 2012
Interim examiner appointed to ‘Cappoquin Chickens’
An interim examiner has been appointed to Cappoquin Poultry Limited (CPL), and a related company Cappoquin Poultry Holdings.
Mr Justice George Birmingham appointed Michael McAteer of Grant Thornton, upon hearing the petition of Mr. Henry Good. Mr. Good is owed €3.9 million for the supply of chicken feed, and is the largest unsecured creditor of the company. The total debts of the Company are believed to be in the region of €6 million. Mr. Good petitioned the court for the appointment of an interim examiner in order to prevent the stripping of the company’s assets. Last week, a number of suppliers blocked the entrance to the premises, as they believed that machinery was being removed.
Counsel for Mr. Good, Ross Gorman, said that his client is of the belief that while the company is insolvent, the business is viable and has a reasonable prospect of survival. The court heard that the business was suffering due to the absence of a managing director, and it had not collected a debt of €2.69 million, from a company in Derby, England, which is owned by the Directors brother.
The petitioner had been in negotiations with CPL to buy the business, however, this had fallen through.
An independent accountant’s report into the business is being prepared, and the matter returns to court next month.
By Richael O’Brien
Sources from Irish Times, Irish Examiner and RTE
15 August 2012
Chicken farmers ‘will suffer’ after appointment of Cappoquin examiner
By Agribusiness Reporter
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
The IFA says chicken farmers will suffer following the High Court’s appointment of an interim examiner to the Co Waterford-based Cappoquin Poultry Ltd and the related company Cappoquin Poultry Holdings Ltd after being informed the business has debts of €6m.
IFA National Poultry Committee chairman Alo Mohan said: “It is an awful shame that, despite the efforts of the farmer suppliers, other suppliers and workforce to Cappoquin Poultry Products, the company is once again in such a poor condition that an administrator has been appointed.”
The company, which employs more than 130 people, was placed in examinership by the High Court on Monday with the appointment of Michael McAteer of Grant Thornton as administrator. The company will now operate for 100 days while Mr McAteer assesses the company’s viability.
Mr Mohan said the situation in Waterford has not changed, with the local community as dependent on Cappoquin Poultry Products as it was in 2008 when it was taken over by Derby Poultry.
“It was for this reason that growers stayed in production, foregoing the monies they were owed, as well as increases that were needed to cover ever-increasing costs, to help ensure the viability of the company. It now appears that these efforts may have been in vain.”
Mr Mohan said the last time Cappoquin Chickens was placed in this position, imported chicken and the high price of inputs was blamed, adding that the situation is the same today.
“The vast majority of chicken bought at catering level in hotels and restaurants is imported and therefore it may not meet the same standards as chicken produced in Ireland. All Irish chicken is produced under the Bord Bia Quality Assurance Scheme, ensuring the highest standards of quality, food safety and traceability.”
Mr Mohan said if Irish consumers want to ensure the future of the Irish chicken industry, they must query the origin of chicken, especially fillets, everywhere but particularly in restaurants and butchers.
“EU legislation on country of origin labelling of fresh meat is coming but not fast enough,” said Mr Mohan. “Hopefully the communities in Cappoquin and the greater West Waterford/East Cork region will not be made suffer for the delay in this legislation.”