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Deal to buy out Masterchef host Nick Munier out of restaurant stake 'not being honoured', court told

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Michelin-starred chef Dylan McGrath and top restaurateur Nick Munier

Michelin-starred chef Dylan McGrath and top restaurateur Nick Munier

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A DISPUTE has arisen over an alleged delay in implementing a deal to buy out MasterChef Ireland co-presenter Nick Munier's shareholding in Pichet restaurant in Dublin, the High Court heard.

After a mediation process, terms of settlement of legal proceedings brought by Mr Munier related to the operation of Dillmel Ltd, the company operating the Pichet restaurant at Trinity Street, Dublin, were agreed but have not been implemented, Mr Justice David Keane was told.

Mr Munier's proceedings, brought under Section 205 of the Companies Act, were against Frank Gleeson, Marie Gleeson, Pichet head chef Stephen Gibson and Sean Hawkshaw and related to matters including disputes concerning the holding of shareholdings and directorships in the company.

OPPRESSIVE

Mr Munier, who alleged the affairs of the company were being carried out in a manner oppressive to him, said he had also brought the proceedings against Dillmel Ltd solely for the purpose of implementing any orders made.

Yesterday, Gary McCarthy SC, for Mr Munier, said the terms of settlement of those proceedings involved Mr Munier being made redundant and getting a consultancy agreement and financial payment.

Essentially, Mr Munier was being "bought out" of Pichet and the deal was to close last November 17, counsel said.

Because the terms have not been implemented, his side would have to bring proceedings aimed at ensuring they were, counsel outlined.

There was "no good reason" why the terms had not been implemented and his side considered the delay was a "stunt" by Frank Gleeson to stop Mr Munier's plan to start a new enterprise, counsel said.

While Mr Gleeson has raised an issue concerning financial matters of the company, his side did not accept that and intended to bring fresh proceedings, counsel said.

Mr Munier was also concerned to have the matter quickly addressed. Paul Fogarty BL, for the respondents, said he rejected Mr McCarthy's characterisation of the reason why the terms have not been implemented. The failure to implement the terms arose because his side had become aware of "significant irregularities", counsel said.

If Mr Munier's side decided they wanted to bring proceedings to enforce the terms of the settlement, "rather than engage", that was a matter for them, counsel added.

Mr Justice Keane said he would adjourn the matter for a week to allow the sides to consider the most appropriate way of dealing with it.

hnews@herald.ie


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