An emergency session involving the fate of OpenHydro was held in the Irish High Court today, presided over by Judge McDonald.
“Well it is an emergency when a company’s survival is at stake,” said a source close to the situation, in an afternoon phone interview from Ireland.
There is currently an interim examiner in Ireland, who was appointed in the Irish High Court, in a session on Friday August 17th. (See August 17th blog post.)
“It’s an unusual situation, that you have an interim examiner appointed to the company whose primary function is to try to find an investor, or investors, to save the business, and you have a liquidator appointed whose primary function is to dispose of the assets and wind down the business,” said the Irish source.
“The way it is at the moment,” he said,” it appears that Grant Thornton are still liquidators, but they can’t really dispose of any assets until the full hearing of the examination petition, which is on tomorrow fortnight.”
“All the international cases were adjourned until September 5th,” was the official word midday via telephone from Neeve Kurns with the Information office for the Irish High Court.
In response to a query as to whether Grant Thornton’s liquidation role is temporarily on hold due to the appointment of an interim examiner, spokeswoman Karen Jones of Grant Thornton Ireland wrote in an email, “I can confirm that Provisional Liquidators are still in place. We have nothing further to add at this time.”
Grant Thornton Halifax clarified over the phone that they are not involved in the liquidation proceedings. Patricia Pegley, speaking for Grant Thornton Halifax, directed further questions to Stephen Tennant, Managing Partner with Grant Thornton Ireland, who is involved in the liquidation proceedings.
Gerry Curran, media relations spokesman for the High Court has not responded to email queries or calls. A switchboard operator said staff was thin, as court was only hearing emergency cases, because regular court was in recess until October.
When asked if Emera, with it’s 2.2 per cent ownership stake in OpenHydro, is part of the 12 per cent group of minority shareholders behind this rescue attempt, Pineo stuck to Emera’s script and wrote, “As you may recall, Emera formally notified OpenHydro and OpenHydro’s provisional liquidator (Grant Thornton) on Monday August 13th that we are withdrawing from our involvement in Cape Sharp Tidal, and we are in the process of examining our rights and obligations under our various commercial agreements with OpenHydro.”
“The interim Irish examiner will report back to the court at the full hearing on September 5th,” said the Irish source, giving his assessment regarding the ability of the company, “the Irish entity,” to be saved. What he says could determine the direction of the September 5th, proceedings.