Duddy Group asks court to prevent sale of Dublin hotel

The Ibis Red Cow is at the centre of an ongoing legal dispute

The Duddy Hospitality Group has asked the High Court for an order to restrain the purported sale of a Dublin hotel that is at the centre of an ongoing legal dispute.

The Ibis Red Cow Hotel is one of several assets being argued over by the Duddy Group and the UK-based Propiteer Group in a row over an alleged breach of an agreement to divide up the assets of joint ventures they owned.

In the latest application in the dispute, the Duddy Group seeks orders preventing a sale of the business by receivers it claims were wrongfully appointed over the hotel by the defendants.

The Duddy Group claims that last month the receivers issued it with a 30-day notice of their intention to sell the Ibis hotel.


That notice is due to expire on Friday, December 8th, it is claimed. The Duddy Group says any sale before the resolution of the overall action would be damaging to its claims.

Earlier this year, Duddy Hospitality Ireland Holdings Limited, Brendan Duddy and Lawrence Duddy, which are all part of the Duddy group, commenced proceedings against Propiteer Ireland Holdings Limited, DADAC Ltd, Propiteer Ltd, Colin Sandy and David Marshall, which are all part of the Propiteer group.

The Duddy Group further seeks orders preventing insolvency practitioners Ken Fennell and Andrew O’Leary, of Interpath Ireland from acting as receivers of the hotel.

The two groups were allegedly partners in several joint ventures, including the hotel, a hotel in Exeter, England, and developments in Dublin and Belfast.

After differences emerged in 2019 it was decided to divide up the shared assets and go their separate ways.

It is claimed that in 2020 the two groups entered into settlement agreements regarding the various jointly held assets.

The Duddy group claims that as part of those arrangements, it would get ownership and control of the Ibis Red Cow Hotel and related companies.

However, it claims the Propiteer group breached the settlement agreements resulting in the Duddy group seeking various injunctions against the defendants.

The claims of wrongdoing are denied.

A mediation failed to resolve the row and the High Court is yet to determine the case.

On Wednesday, Niall Buckley SC, with Neal Flynn BL, instructed by Flynn O’Driscoll LLP solicitors, for the Duddy Group returned to court seeking orders preventing the hotel’s sale.

The Duddy Group claims the receivers initially said the hotel would not be sold in the “short term” and it was hoped the case could have been determined by now.

The Duddy Group claims that getting control of the hotel is one of the main objectives of their action and any sale would “severely undermine” the value of the reliefs they seek.

Mr Justice Rory Mulcahy, on an ex parte basis (only one side was represented), granted the permission to serve short notice of the injunction proceedings on the defendants.

The application will return to court on Thursday.

The Duddy Group claims in its main proceedings that the defendant group attempted to remove directors from the boards of two companies associated with the hotel and had been seeking to replace them with their own nominees.

The plaintiffs say the defendants are not entitled to do this and earlier this year sought court orders preventing any changes to the companies’ boards.

It also claims the defendants acquired the debt owed on the hotel and have prevented the Duddy Group from ultimately taking ownership of the hotel.

The plaintiffs allege the defendants “regret” allowing the Duddy Group to acquire the hotel after seeing how well it has been performing.

In that action it seeks injunctions preventing any alteration to the boards of companies involved in the running of the hotel.

All of the defendants deny any wrongdoing.

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