Court plea for 50 Clerys concession holders owed €1.4m

Liquidators of OCS, that operated Clerys, seek permission from High Court to pay out money

Clerys clock: James Doherty SC, for liquidators Kieran Wallace and Eamonn Richardson of KPMG, said they want to pay  funds to  concession holders as soon as possible as they had been without the money since June. Photograph: Frank Miller / The Irish Times

Clerys clock: James Doherty SC, for liquidators Kieran Wallace and Eamonn Richardson of KPMG, said they want to pay funds to concession holders as soon as possible as they had been without the money since June. Photograph: Frank Miller / The Irish Times

 

The joint liquidators of the company that formerly operated Clerys department store in Dublin are seeking directions from the High Court permitting them to pay out some €654,000 in funds to about 50 concession holders at the store.

The concession holders claim to be owed some €1.4 million and one, LS Catering, has separately sought permission to bring proceedings against OCS Operations Ltd arising from concerns over whether certain transactions affected the monies available to it as a concession holder.

At the High Court on Monday, Jeremiah Healy SC, for LS Catering, a company linked to businesswoman Lorraine Sweeney which operated a restaurant in Clerys from 1992, said certain transactions concerning common funds give rise “at the moment” to concerns but those transactions may turn out to be “acceptable”. His side wanted a short time to consider what the liquidators said.

James Doherty SC, for liquidators Kieran Wallace and Eamonn Richardson of KPMG, said they want to pay out funds to the concession holders as soon as possible as there were some 50 businesses without those funds since June. Mr Healy’s client would benefit from that, he added.

Mr Justice Tony O’Connor said the liquidators’ application for directions to further progress matters in the liquidation, plus the LS Catering proceedings, could be mentioned at the High Court on Thursday with a view to getting a date for hearing before December 21st.

OCS went into liquidation and some 440 jobs were lost when Clerys was bought by the Natrium consortium led by D2 developer Deirdre Foley last June.

The liquidators now want directions from the court as to whether the concession holders have a valid trust claim to funds held in the bank account of OCS Operations, in cash, or in credit card receipts at the date of the liquidation. They also want directions concerning the entitlement of the liquidators to deduct contractual commissions from the funds.

Mr Richardson said he believed the total of the concessionaires’ traceable trust claim is €653,946 and was advised that claim was valid. There are sufficient funds in the company’s bank account to discharge that claim, he added. A further sum of about €90,731, a float held across the 130 cash registers in Clerys, are monies that should be retained in the liquidation, he added

In LS Catering’s proceedings, it claims it was owed some €46,000 and it is concerned OCS has insufficient funds to pay the concession holders all the sums due.