Murtagh says that his bid is better for the network as it would guarantee payment to HoC’s creditors, something that he says would not happen if LSL’s bid is chosen instead.
He says: “My bid was for the purchase of the network, not for it to go into administration, and everyone would have got paid. The stumbling block with my bid is that it would have taken two or three days for the FSA to approve the change of control. It’s reasonably fair to say that by Friday everybody would have been paid.”
“My bid protects this network. I’ve already paid the money that Lloyds Bank wanted into a solicitors account – and that protects everyone.”
Murtagh insists that his decision to remove the current board if his bid is successful has gone against him.
He says: “The other bid on the table from LSL, which the directors want to accept, puts the business into administration. That will then allow LSL to approve which creditors it pays and that which it doesn’t. The directors should not accept that bid. The reason is that my bid takes the board out – I don’t want the existing board of directors.”
HoC chief executive Gerry O’Brien released a statement this morning announcing that he expects to reveal the network’s new owner and to clear up any questions about backdated fees and commission tomorrow.
On Friday O’Brien stressed that the network had not entered administration and that talks with potential investors were ongoing. He said was liaising with the FSA regarding regulatory approval.
Home of Choice declined to comment on Murtagh’s statement to MM.