Business Irish

Monday 21 August 2017

Mercantile splits between investors

Café en Seine in Dublin, one of the establishments which is owned by The Mercantile Group
Café en Seine in Dublin, one of the establishments which is owned by The Mercantile Group

Donal O'Donovan and Tim Healy

DUBLIN pub and restaurant chain The Mercantile Group will be broken up, with the bulk of the business retained by shareholders Danu Advisory Partners Ltd and EMI-MR. This group includes Whelans and Café en Seine.

The Green Hen, Marcels and Farrier & Draper, all in Dublin city centre, will be split off and taken over by former Mercantile CEO Frank Gleeson in exchange for his 30pc shareholding in the chain.

Under the break up it is likely that the East-Side Tavern will be sold to a third party.

The deal marks settlement of a number of interconnected legal disputes between investors in the merged Mercantile/Capital chains of pubs, hotels and restaurants.

Publican Mr Gleeson had brought proceedings alleging shareholder oppression in holding company Ardan Advisory, which had been formed out of the Mercantile/Capital group merger. The other shareholders in Ardan denied his claims.

Separate proceedings were brought by EMI-MR Investment, in which it sought a €4.6m judgment against Mr Gleeson over loans to him in 2016. Mr Gleeson had opposed EMI-MR Investment's action.

Earlier this month, the court was told the proceedings had been resolved.

Yesterday, Mr Justice Brian McGovern was told the oppression action was being withdrawn, the EMI-MR case was being discontinued and an unfair dismissal case taken by Mr Gleeson had been struck out.

Irish Independent

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