Receivers seek orders to allow hotel sale
Receivers appointed by Irish bank Resolution Corporation over companies of businessman Johnny Moran are seeking orders aimed at clearing the way for the sale of the former Holiday Inn hotel on Dublin’s Pearse Street.
Mr Moran asked Mr Justice Peter Kelly at the Commercial Court yesterday to take into account the limited resources of his side in defending the case and other court proceedings and in meeting time limits for exchange of documents.
His side “can’t compete with the level of resources” of the State – as owner of IBRC – and its solicitors Arthur Cox, Mr Moran said.
Jim Breslin SC, for receivers Luke Charleton and David Hughes, secured orders transferring the proceedings against various companies of Mr Moran to the Commercial Court. The special liquidators of IBRC had given clearance for the litigation, the court heard.
Ross Maguire SC, for Citywide Leisure Ltd, Blarney Inn Ltd, BCGM Ltd, JRM Hotels Ltd and Aspere Property Investments Ltd – all in receivership – opposed transfer on grounds including delay by IBRC in advancing its claims.
The IBRC case is aimed at securing a court order lifting a lis pendens (registered claim) over the hotel and other properties by the companies last August in proceedings issued by them against IBRC. The companies alleged their property and equality rights were breached when IBRC appointed receivers.
The companies owned and managed the former Holiday Inn on Pearse Street, Dublin, restaurants Tante Zoe’s in Temple Bar and the Blarney Inn on Kildare Street, with its associated nightclub, Club Nassau. The receivers were appointed when the bank called in loans which the companies could not pay.
The High Court later ordered the companies to provide more than €500,000 security for costs of their action by July 2012. When the money was not paid, the proceedings were struck out. The companies have appealed to the Supreme Court.
IBRC claims the lis pendens was not properly registered and has fallen as a result of the companies’ proceedings been struck out.
The receivers claim that between August 2011 and December 2012, 138 direct inquiries about sale of the Holiday Inn were received. They claim a credible offer was made last December from a party considered able to complete the purchase but whose solicitors are concerned about the lis pendens.
Mr Justice Kelly found there was no culpable delay by IBRC and said he would fast-track the case as he was satisfied it was urgent. Prospective purchasers were not commonplace and the receivers were anxious they did not lose interest, he added.