Esso wins High Court battle with food service operator
ESSO Ireland is entitled to order the Nine One One food services operator to leave 32 garages where it has been providing services, the High Court ruled.
Judge Brian McGovern yesterday upheld claims by Esso Ireland Ltd and Ireland Roc Ltd, which respectively own and operate the 32 premises, that Nine One One Retail was not entitled to remain in occupation of the premises on foot of operating agreements and licences that had expired.
Nine One One, under a concession agreement of 2001, had entered into a deal with Esso to provide hot and cold food facilities at the Esso service station at Sandford Road, Ranelagh, Dublin, and similar arrangements were entered into concerning 31 other service stations under an operating agreement of June 2002.
The food facilities were operated under the brand name Nine One One.
While there were negotiations in 2012 concerning a further operating agreement, Esso claimed the existing operating agreement, having been extended in May 2012 for another year, was to end in June 2013. In May 2013, it issued a notice of termination.
Nine One One argued the operating agreement had not been validly terminated and continued to operate the Nine One One food services.
Esso initiated legal proceedings alleging Nine One One was in unlawful occupation of the premises and seeking injunctions directing it to leave.
Nine One One denied the claims and counterclaimed for damages on grounds including alleged breach of contract.
Yesterday, Judge McGovern, having analysed the relevant agreements, concluded Nine One One was not entitled to assert a tenancy or to an additional or extended notice period in relation to Esso's termination of the operating agreement.