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Twins will stay after Residence takeover

EXCLUSIVE members club Residence has been taken over by multimillionaire businesswoman Olivia Gaynor Long.

The Dublin entrepreneur has linked a deal to purchase the business from receiver Jim Stafford.

However, sources have revealed that club bosses Christian and Simon Stokes are expected to be kept on to manage the venue as part of the surprise takeover.

Earlier this year, a receiver was appointed to Missford Ltd by the High Court on the application of Zurich Bank, which was owed €2.3m secured against charges on the club's premises. It also held personal guarantees from Simon and Christian Stokes (both 34), the socialite brothers who established the club in 2008.



Critical

In January, Mr Justice Peter Kelly was critical of the Stokes brothers' use of tax money for trading purposes and they had not been passing their 58 employees' tax and PRSI payments to the Revenue Commissioners, to whom they owe €1.2m. Mr Justice Kelly described the brothers' behaviour as "delinquent", saying they had been "thieving" monies owed to the Revenue Commissioners to stay in business.

Members and suppliers have now been told to deal with the recently formed company, Molana Ltd, which also lists public relations consultant Eugene Long on its directors.

Mr Long said that it would make significant investment in the premises and facilities in the club. A third director of the company, Derek Phillips, will take over the role as chief operations manager for Residence.

"Olivia has some very exciting plans for the business and is looking forward to getting involved in a new project," an insider said. "Everything points to the Stokes brothers staying on in the club. They are very well regarded around town and they're two really nice guys. There's no reason why they wouldn't be staying on."

The wealthy businesswoman has been negotiating with the clubs court-appointed receiver Jim Stafford in a bid to acquire the cash-strapped venue.

Ms Gaynor is originally from Killiney and already owns an exclusive restaurant and private members club in New York's Soho district.

But now she has set her sights on closer to home and bailing out the troubled club, which was a regular haunt of stars including Bono and Jonathan Rhys Meyers.

The Stokes brothers hit the headlines at the start of this year after it was revealed that the company was facing bankruptcy.

hnews@herald.ie


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