Judge advises mediation in family dispute concerning timber company

A family dispute over shares in a timber company has ended up in the Commercial Court.

Mr Justice Brian McGovern today admitted the case involving IJM Timber Engineering Ltd to the list of the business division of the High Court but he advised members of the McCaughey family who are the main shareholders to consider mediation talks.

The case had been brought by 84-year old retired businessman Sean McCaughey with an address in Gran Canaria and who has a 70% shareholding in the timber frame manufacturing company IJM Timber Engineereing Ltd with a registered address at Larlurcan, Monaghan, Co Monaghan and which is also based in Dundalk Co Louth, employing 250 people.

The other two shareholders in the company are Mr McCaughey's sons Peter, with an address at Hackballscross, Co Louth and Martin, with an adddress at Dundalk, Co Louth who have a 30% shareholding between them.

Mr Sean McCaughey has brought the action in the Commercial Court against his sons Peter and Martin and a director of IJM Gregory McKenna of Emyvale, Co Monaghan and the timber company IJM Timber Engineering Ltd.

In a grounding affidavit, Mr Sean McCaughey said the proceedings arise from the unsuccessful negotiations between him and his sons concerning the sale of his majority shareholding in IJM. He said his refusal to consent to the acquisition of his shares at what he claims was an undervalue brought about a progressive deterioration in his relationship with his sons.

He has further claimed this led to a plan being allegedly formulated to dilute his majority shareholding.

Mr McCaughey said when the sale of his shareholding was first brought up in 2016 he was generally happy with the idea but he later formed the view the sum on offer - about €1.4m- was too low.

Mr McCaughey has also taken issue with resolutions passed at an EGM last year which he claims will further dilute his shareholding in the company.

It is further claimed there is a degree of urgency attached to the proceedings in view of the potential impact upon the business of IJM which employs about 250 people.

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