Firm settles legal action over joint venture with Heineken
A HIGH Court action against Heineken Ireland over alleged breaches of a joint venture agreement that allegedly resulted in €10m losses for the Nash drinks company has been settled.
The proceedings were brought by Hartside Ltd, an Isle of Man-based company, which claimed it and Heineken, then named Murphy Brewery Ireland Ltd, entered into a joint venture agreement (JVA) with several other parties in November 1996 for the acquisition and ownership of Nash Beverages Ltd (NBL).
A number of ancillary agreements were also entered into including a management agreement between Hartside and Heineken and a keg delivery agreement, it was claimed. The claims were denied.
Hartside claimed the business of the joint venture, including keg delivery and wholesale drinks distribution, was to be conducted under the terms of the JVA.
It claimed Heineken breached the terms of the JVA and the management agreement in taking steps that had the effect of advancing Heineken's own interests and depressing the value of NBL and consequently Hartside's interest in NBL.
Those breaches allegedly included that Heineken, whether by itself or through its nominees on the board of NBL, or through the NBL general manager, had the effect of restricting the company engaging in parallel importing, preventing meaningful reform of the company's wholesale distribution business and failing to ensure control systems were put in place to prevent stock fraud and other stock discrepancies.
The action was due to commence on Tuesday, but following talks, Ms Justice Mary Irvine was yesterday told the matter had been settled and could be struck out.