herald

Sunday 25 June 2017

Regency set for examinership a year on from feud murder

The Regency Hotel
The Regency Hotel

The High Court has approved the appointment of an interim examiner in a move that will allow Dublin's Regency Hotel time to restructure its debts.

Insolvency expert Neil Hughes has been appointed as interim examiner to the landmark north Dublin hotel almost a year after it was the scene of the murder of David Byrne during a boxing weigh-in on February 5, 2016.

The killing provoked a public and political outcry and triggered a wave of gang violence linked to the Hutch-Kinahan feud in the capital.

Shooting

The family-owned company has previously estimated that last year's shooting had cost the business hundreds of thousands of euro.

The hotel had to shut down for several days to facilitate the garda investigation.

A number of cancellations were made in the immediate aftermath of the shooting.

Examinership allows companies breathing space of up to 100 days to restructure their debts, if they can convince the court that their business is potentially viable.

Regan Development said the court's approval for the interim examinership will allow them time to reach a scheme of agreement with their creditors.

While the Regency has been able to trade since the murder, it is understood a planned rebranding - potentially including a change of name - has been delayed as a result of the wider financial situation.

Last night, a spokesman for the hotel denied the fatal shooting at the hotel was a factor in the appointment of an interim examiner.

Although business did drop off for several months following the murder of Byrne, who was linked to the Kinahan drugs cartel, it has nothing to do with its financial difficulties, he said.

Debt

"There was a drop off in bookings initially and the shooting was a hit to them, but it has traded well since then," he said.

Rather, the appointment of the examiner was prompted by the calling-in of a debt - believed to exceed €20m - owed by the company's guarantor Regan Development.

"The only asset it had was the Regency," he said.

He added that the hotel continues to operate normally and none of the 109 staff are affected.

"The hotel is doing well but they have this debt hanging over them," he told the Herald.

The High Court was "satisfied that the hotel continues to trade well and the company had a reasonable prospect of survival," he said.

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