The High Court is to be asked to direct an early hearing of a challenge by the owner of a major cinema group to moves which he says could result in the sale of about €81 million in group loans to Nama by the liquidators of the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation.
Thomas Anderson, beneficial owner of Cinema Holdings Ltd and Cinema Holdings Two Ltd, subsidiaries of the Isle of Man-registered Empire Cinema Group, wants High Court orders blocking the sale of the loans on grounds inclu- ding a transfer to Nama could be disastrous for his business and employees.
Empire operates 16 cine- mas in the UK. In 2005-06, it acquired a number of cinema and development sites from the Odeon and Cineworld groups, through the Cinema Holdings (CH) companies.
The acquisitions were funded by loans of €54.5 million to the first CH com- pany and €27.3 million to the second, taken out with the former Irish Nationwide Building Society, since taken over by IBRC.
Mr Justice Michael Peart was told yesterday the companies wanted the proceedings dealt with as soon as possible in a “telescoped” hearing. The judge said the application for such a hearing could be made to him any day this week.