Former Heinz CEO Anthony J.F. O’Reilly Officially Declares Bankruptcy

by San Antonio Attorney

Anthony J.F. O’Reilly, formerly the H.J. Heinz Co. chief executive officer, has declared bankruptcy through a court in the Bahamas.  This will pave a way to file for a liquidation arrangement, according to the Irish Times newspaper.

Allied Irish Bank, the creditor, placed its objections through a legal hearing last Friday.  It stated that the court didn’t have jurisdiction and this court ruling will give O’ Reilly an opportunity to provide a formal deal with the creditors.

O’Reilly left the Heinz CEO role about 19 years ago.  However, he chose to remain as chairman until 2000 and was initially reported to be considering bankruptcy in 2014.

O’Reilly had debt worth millions to several banks and this took major blows to his finances in investments via news and crystal-making operations.

He initially sold his personal assets to satisfy creditors, to the extent of selling Castlemartin, his 750-acre estate, via Irish creditors.

O’Reilly was former Irish rugby star who also served as the first non-U.S.  born leader of Heinz.  He was eventually knighted by Queen Elizabeth.

Heinz executives and Mr.  O’Reilly’s wife, Lady Chryss O’Reilly, donated funds so that the theater would be named after him, according to a Post-Gazette report in 1999.

The verdict may be inevitable although further legal action could still be possible, according to the Irish Times.

The ruling is bound to open a path for Mr. O’Reilly based on Friday’s ruling.

Another issue to work out is a personal insolvency arrangement, which could resolve the pending debts.

Lady Chryss, who is one of the wealthiest women in Irish, tried to purchase back his debts in the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation for €2m.

However, there was a delay in finalizing the deal.  In the end, the bank was put into liquidation by the State.  That last shot to alleviate financial troubles was gone.

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