Friday 24 November 2017

Legal move may delay receivers' hopes of hotel sale


Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

THE owner of the former Holiday Inn hotel on Pearse Street (right) has taken a legal action in an effort to block the sale of the hotel by its receivers.

Last week receivers acting for Anglo Irish Bank put the hotel on the market, with a price tag of €12m.

Now, solicitors acting for hotelier Johnny Moran have gone to court to register a "lis Pendens" legal notice that threatens to derail any hopes of a quick sale.

By registering a "lis Pendens" potential buyers are made aware that a legal action is pending. Registering the notice acts almost like a charge over a property -- informing any potential buyer that the ownership of the property being sold is already the subject of a legal dispute.

It means that potential buyers might be reluctant to bid for the hotel, fearing any sale by the bank could be reversed in the future if a court rules against the receivers down the line.

Mr Moran is understood to have registered the claim after the hotel was advertised for sale in newspapers last week. The legal action was already under way but was not due in court until the legal season resumed in October.

"I can confirm that High Court proceedings have been lodged against Anglo Irish Bank over what we believe was an invalid receivership appointment," Mr Moran told the Irish Independent.

He also said that the Holiday Inn franchise, which the property had for 14 years prior to being taken into receivership did not automatically lapse after Ernst & Young were appointed, but was lost subsequently.

Mr Moran has challenged the receivership process in relation to the former Holiday Inn and other businesses he owns, including at one stage locking agents for the receivers out of the properties.

It came after a number of his businesses, including the Holiday Inn on Pearse Street and The Blarney Inn/Kildare Hotel complex -- spanning Kildare St and Nassau St and including Nassau Niteclub -- were taken into receivership in January.

Anglo Irish Bank appointed the receivers on the same day it called in loans owed by four businesses owned by Mr Moran and Sonjia Maher. Mr Moran said that he received insufficient notice and with banks in Ireland not lending it was impossible to refinance at such short notice.

Yesterday, Anglo Irish Bank and receivers David Hughes and Luke Charlton of Ernst & Young were not available for comment.

Dublin solicitors PB Cunningham & Co are acting for Johnny Moran, Arthur Cox is acting for Anglo Irish Bank.

Irish Independent

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