Smart Telecom creditors form action group

19 Oct 2006

Creditors of stricken telecoms firm Smart Telecom who are owed amounts possibly adding up to €40m have joined together to ensure they are paid in full, it emerged yesterday.

In recent weeks Smart’s mounting problems culminated in Eircom switching off some 45,000 customers of the company after Smart failed to pay €4m it owed the incumbent.

Within days it emerged that major shareholder and investor in Smart, Brendan Murtagh acquired the business, assets and liabilities of the company for just €1. He announced that Smart will de-list from London’s AIM market and a new company controlled by Murtagh called BidCo will assume all the liabilities of Smart, estimated to be almost €40m.

A new organisation called the Smart Creditors Action Group has been formed and will act akin to a Creditors Committee of Inspection in a liquidation situation.

The group will be chaired by business advisor Martin Ferris of Ferris & Associates and its first meeting will take place early next week.

It said its main aims are to protect the rights of investors and provide an environment in which the directors and shadow directors of Smart can “deal responsibly with unsecured creditors to ensure that all debts are paid in full in the shortest possible timeframe”.

It also said its objective was to “facilitate the visibility of actions taken by directors, shadow directors and management of Smart Telecom in regard to settling these debts”.

By John Kennedy