Amantiss Enterprises Limited and Wilbury Limited were placed into creditors’ voluntary liquidation in 1994. Following the appointment of a liquidator, proceedings were issued by the two companies, together with a third company, Framus Limited, against a multitude of defendants including CRH plc, Readymix plc and Kilsaran Concrete Products Limited, alleging breaches of competition law.

The proceedings were ultimately struck out in July 2012 on the grounds of delay, with an order that the defendants recover their costs against Amantiss, Wilbury and Framus. The solicitors for the three companies lodged an appeal against that decision. The appeal was not authorised by the liquidator of Amantiss and Wilbury, who was of the view that an appeal was not in the best interests of their creditors. The defendants to the competition proceedings brought an application to strike out the appeal. A director of Framus who was also a creditor of the Amantiss and Wilbury, brought an application under section 309 of the Companies Act 1963 seeking a meeting of the creditors to ascertain their wishes regarding the appeal.

An issue arose as to whether the defendants in the competition proceedings, who under the costs order stood as creditors in the liquidation, were entitled to attend and vote at the creditors’ meeting. Laffoy J held that it would “make absolutely no sense” to include the defendants in the competition proceedings in the meetings in circumstances where there was a clear conflict of interest between them and other creditors among the general body of creditors who might oppose the strike out motion. 

Re Amantiss Enterprises Limited (In Voluntary Liquidation) and Re Wilbury Limited (In Voluntary Liquidation) [2013] IEHC 21