Thursday 19 April 2018

Owners of Dublin pub bringing proceedings to frustrate sale of premises, court told

Kennedys of Westland Row
Kennedys of Westland Row

THE owners of a well-known Dublin pub have brought proceedings aimed at frustrating the sale of the premises, it has been claimed in the Commercial Court.

A receiver appointed over Kennedys of Westland Row wants to sell it.

Today, lawyers for receiver, Sean McNamara, and for Vesta Mortgages Ltd, said a contract has been agreed to the sell the pub and they want to conclude the sale process as soon as possible.

The owners, Trinity Taverns Ltd, have brought a legal action challenging that sale.

The receiver and the lender say the challenge is part of a strategy designed to prevent the completion of a lawful sale and are vexatious in nature.

The matter came before Mr Justice Brian McGovern who agreed to have the case admitted to the fast-track Commercial Court list following an application by the lender and the receiver, who were represented by Cian Ferriter SC.

The application was opposed by James Phillips Bl for Trinity Taverns, who also told the court his client disputes the claims made by the receiver and Vesta Mortgages.

Mr McNamara, the court heard, was appointed receiver over the pub last May.

Trinity Taverns, it is claimed, owes Vesta some €2.4m arising out of monies it borrowed.

The loans were advanced by the Educational Building Society (EBS) between 2004 and 2009. Those loans were acquired by Vesta Mortgages Ltd in 2012.

Trinity Taverns allegedly failed to repay those loans.

Talks took place between the mortgage company and the directors of Trinity Taverns between 2013 and 2015 but it was not possible to reach and agreement.

Arising out of the failure to repay, Mr McNamara was appointed as receiver over the property.

A buyer was found in late September and the company's legal challenge followed.

The sale was held up after parties connected to Trinity Taverns registered a "lis pendens" which warns prospective buyers there is a legal dispute over the property, it is claimed.

It is also claimed an offer to buy the bar was made by a person connected with the Trinity Taverns, which was turned down.

There is no valid basis to stop the sale of the bar, the receiver and lender further claim.

Trinity Taverns opposed the application to have the matter admitted to the commercial list due to the costs involved.

Claims made by the receiver and the lender were disputed.

The matter was adjourned to next month.

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