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Court told Dunnes takes 'can pay, won't pay' attitude to €21 million order

The Commercial Court has been told Dunnes Stores is adopting a 'can pay, won't pay' attitude to a...
Newstalk
Newstalk

12.58 26 Nov 2012


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Court told Dunnes takes &#...

Court told Dunnes takes 'can pay, won't pay' attitude to €21 million order

Newstalk
Newstalk

12.58 26 Nov 2012


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The Commercial Court has been told Dunnes Stores is adopting a 'can pay, won't pay' attitude to a judgment order for over €21 million.

The retail giant is the subject of a winding-up petition over its alleged failure to honour the debt owed to insolvent construction company Holtglen Ltd for work on a Kilkenny shopping centre.

Dunnes was in line to be the anchor tenant at the Ferrbybank Shopping Centre which was completed in 2009.

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However Holtglen has since become insolvent and its Bank of Ireland loans have been transferred to NAMA.

Senior Counsel Brian O'Moore, for the retailer, said there was an irony in an insolvent company bringing a winding-up petition against Dunnes Stores which was commercially 'rock solid'.

He said Dunnes was unwilling to discharge the debt over concerns about planning issues, about its engagement with Nama and the viability of the shopping centre in the current ecomomic climate.

'Failure to comply with demands'

Lawyers for Holtglen told Mr. Justice Peter Kelly that the retailer has failed to comply with demands for payment in the wake of a €20.4 million summary judgment order last March.

Maurice Collins, SC, said the deliberate decision by Dunnes not to pay in circumstances where it has the capacity to do so is a novel approach for a company to adopt.

He succesfully applied on behalf of Holtglen for the case to be fast tracked to the Commercial list.

Mr. Justice Kelly said he was mindful of the retailers 1,800 employees whose positions would be in some jeopardy if a winding-up order is to be made.

He noted that Dunnes Stores is no different from any other litigant and must pay its debts.

The petition will be heard on December 14th.


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