Sunday 25 September 2016

Clerys concession holders to get €400k, but still left short

Published 02/09/2015 | 02:30

Four of the concession holders, Catherine McDonagh, Benetton; Helen Lynch, Best of Irish Design; Keith Rogers, Ecco shoes; and Jeremy Doyle,The Card shop, following the meeting with the liquidators in Dublin yesterday. Photo: Tom Burke
Four of the concession holders, Catherine McDonagh, Benetton; Helen Lynch, Best of Irish Design; Keith Rogers, Ecco shoes; and Jeremy Doyle,The Card shop, following the meeting with the liquidators in Dublin yesterday. Photo: Tom Burke

Former concession holders at the closed down Clerys department store are to receive about 30c for every euro they are owed.

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At a meeting of Clerys' creditors yesterday, the company's liquidators said there would be €400,000 available to concession holders.

The concession holders have long contended they are owed around €2m which should have been held for them in a trust.

The liquidators, Kieran Wallace and Eamonn Richardson of KPMG, are understood to have accepted that the concession holders have a valid claim to about €1.3m. The creditors left out of pocket from the collapse of Clerys have set up a committee of inspections to represent their interests during the liquidation.

The committee will meet next Monday.

It will be made up of three former concession holders at the store, a member of trade union Siptu, and a representative of the Department of Social Protection, which is expected to pay out at least €2.5m in redundancy to staff.

Clerys went out of business in June after it was bought by Irish-led consortium Natrium, which plans to redvelop the iconic building.

The trading business was immediately sold on and put into liquidation.

At the creditors' meeting, Mr Richardson is believed to have notified creditors that he had requested a statement of affairs from Gordon Brothers and Jim Brydie, who held the operating company for hours before it was put into liquidation.

Mr Wallace missed the meeting due to illness.

Solicitor Michael Lavelle, who is acting the for the concession holders, said the meeting was "an important first step".

"It is at an early stage so we obviously will be looking at what steps to take.

"The committee of inspections has been appointed; they'll have access to [what investigations take place]. The liquidators' solicitor acknowledged that the trust claim is valid subject to court approval," Mr Lavelle said.

The payment to concession holders is likely to be made in October, subject to court approval. About 460 people lost their jobs after Clerys was shut down in June.

The move came on the same day the shop was bought by Natrium. The consortium is led by Deirdre Foley's D2 Private and UK-based Cheyne Capital Management, with backing from US firm Quadrant Real Estate.

Irish Independent

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