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Dunnes and Point developer settle in €23m row

A DISPUTE over the alleged failure of Dunnes Stores to complete an agreement to become anchor tenant at the Point Village in Dublin's docklands has been settled, the Commercial Court was told yesterday.

Businessman Harry Crosbie had claimed Dunnes alleged failure was jeopardising the project's financing, and he sought orders requiring Dunnes to pay €23m.

Mr Justice Peter Kelly was yesterday told by counsel for Point Village Development Ltd (PVD) the action had settled and could be struck out.

The proceedings were admitted to the Commercial Court in February, but adjourned as the sides tried mediation. On March 9, the judge was told talks had not resolved the matter and it was listed for hearing.

PVD claimed Dunnes entered into an agreement whereby the retail chain would pay €46m to become the €85m scheme's anchor tenant.


The scheme -- which is part of the O2 venue -- would include a shopping centre, cineplex, offices, an hotel, apartments and a public square.

More than 50pc of the work, including some €23m spent on the Point Village, is now complete.

In an affidavit, Mr Crosbie said he reached agreement with his bank to borrow €51m to fund works for the anchor tenancy based on the agreement with Dunnes, whose alleged failure to complete the deal put the financing for other elements of the scheme in jeopardy.

Dunnes were to make stage payments but failed to make the first payment last August, Mr Crosbie said.

Meetings took place between the parties, including one at the Point on October 20 last attended by Mr Crosbie and one of Dunnes' main shareholders, Margaret Heffernan, was was accompanied by Noel Fox and Irwin Druker.


Mr Crosbie said Ms Heffernan said the Point Village project but it was "two years too early" and Dunnes could not honour its contract without changes "reflecting new market conditions".

Mr Crosbie said Irwin Druker had told him: "Dunnes can break any contract" and, with huge redundancies coming to the docklands, the homewares business "is f****d".

Mr Crosbie said Mr Druker later said Dunnes wanted a 20-30pc discount on the project and 10 years to pay it.

Mr Crosbie said he had made proposals to try to resolve the impasse. Stage payments of €23m, plus interest of €79,783, were due, he said.

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