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'Siamese twins' of Irish building industry Greg and Hugh Kavanagh settle 'unfortunate' legal dispute

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High profile siblings: Developers Hugh and Greg Kavanagh. Photo: Gerry Mooney

High profile siblings: Developers Hugh and Greg Kavanagh. Photo: Gerry Mooney

High profile siblings: Developers Hugh and Greg Kavanagh. Photo: Gerry Mooney

Well-known developer and businessman Greg Kavanagh and his brother Hugh have settled their legal dispute which brought them all the way to the High Court.

Mr Justice Senan Allen on Monday was told the case had been settled and resolved in its entirety to the mutual satisfaction of both sides.

The case had come before the court last week over what was claimed was the removal of Hugh Kavanagh as a director of 19 companies.

Rossa Fanning SC, for Bernard Kavanagh, otherwise known as Hugh Kavanagh, told the court on that occasion it was an "unfortunate" and urgent commercial dispute.

Relations between the brothers had deteriorated in recent times, the court heard.

In broad terms, Greg Kavanagh was seen as the "front of house" of the business while Hugh Kavanagh had a hands on role in terms of actual building work and development activity, Mr Fanning said.

Hugh Kavanagh estimated the net value of Structured Marshalled Investments Ltd (SMIL), the main holding company for the business, was €35m, the court heard.

The High Court had given counsel leave to serve short notice of the proceedings on the defendants. The proceedings were by Hugh Kavanagh and Simlur Ltd, a company of which Hugh Kavanagh is owner and sole director, against Greg Kavanagh and 20 companies, including SMIL, New Generation Homes Ltd and Isotonic Hotel Ltd.

Hugh Kavanagh claimed he had been removed as a director of 19 of the 20 defendant companies but had not been removed as a director of one defendant firm, Bezzu Corporation Ltd.

In court documents, he said he had operated a property and construction business with Greg, his younger brother, for 17 years and they had worked closely together to build up a very successful business.

Up until about six weeks ago, they had had a very close personal relationship as brothers, each were best man at the other's wedding and Greg was godfather to two of his three children, Mr Kavanagh said.

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One investor in some of the projects "described us as being like Siamese twins", he said.

He said important decisions were made jointly and it was always agreed they owned the business equally.

He said this was formalised in 2018 when 50 per cent of the shares in SMIL, the main holding company for the business, were transferred to his holding company, Simlur.

In recent months, his relationship with Greg had deteriorated, he claimed and his brother he asserted had allegedly purported to remove him as director of 19 of the companies.

In court on Monday, Mr Fanning for Hugh Kavanagh told Mr Justice Allen the matter had been resolved in its entirety to the mutual satisfaction of both parties and a settlement agreement had been concluded. Counsel said it was also agreed the agreement, which was handed in to court be made a rule of court.


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