Friday 20 April 2018

Owners of well-known pub Flannery’s in High Court bid over ‘legal shut-out’

Flannery's on Camden Street, Dublin
Flannery's on Camden Street, Dublin

Aodhan O'Faolain & Ray Managh

THE owners of a well-known Dublin pub, who faced a legal shut-out today on Arthur’s Day, were granted a temporary order by the High Court preventing a hedge fund from appointing a Receiver over the business.

Camden Street Investments Ltd (CSI) sought the order preventing Dublin registered Vanguard Property Finance Ltd placing Flannery’s Pub in Camden Street into receivership today.

Mr Justice Sean Ryan heard that Vanguard acquired a €13m loan advanced to Camden Street Investments by Bank of Scotland to buy Flannery’s and adjoining premises in 2008.  

Earlier this week Vanguard claimed CSI had defaulted on the loan agreement, called it in and informed the owners that if the entire amount was not repaid by 5pm today it intended to appoint a receiver over the premises.

Earlier today, the CSI claimed no default on the loan had occurred and told the court Vanguard was not entitled to put the bar into receivership.

Judge Ryan the pub’s owners and operators a temporary injunction restraining Vanguard from appointing a receiver over the premises at 6, 7, 8 and 8A Camden Street. 

Barrister Barry Mansfield, counsel for ICI, said that last February Vanguard bought the €13m CSI loan debt from Bank of Scotland after the bank had decided to exit the Irish market.

Mr Mansfield said Vanguard was a hedge fund which bought up debt before selling it on. 

He said the pub owners had an agreement to make monthly repayments  of approximately €75,000 to service the loan.

Discussions had taken place between the companies and Vanguard in order to regularise a repayment situation. 

However an issue concerning outstanding arrears of repayments had arisen between the parties and CSI, who accepts arrears are owed, had asked Vanguard to inform them the amount of arrears due so they could pay it off.

Mr Mansfield said that despite CSI’s requests the amount of arrears was never provided to his clients leading to Vanguard claiming his CSI had defaulted on the loan agreement.

He told Judge Ryan it was CSI’s  case that no "event of default" on the loan agreement had occurred and CSI was prepared to lodge money in court equal to the amount of arrears sought by Vanguard.

He said the matter was particularly urgent because of busy forthcoming events such as the All-Ireland Hurling Final replay between Cork and Clare.

Mr Mansfield said the pub employed 40 staff and was a profitable business with an annual turnover of  more than €4m.

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