herald

Friday 2 December 2016

Clerys' concession-holders to get a third of what is due

Concession-holders Martin O’Sullivan and Denis Forde arriving for the meeting of creditors of Clerys department store with the liquidators from KPMG
Concession-holders Martin O’Sullivan and Denis Forde arriving for the meeting of creditors of Clerys department store with the liquidators from KPMG

Former concession-holders at the closed-down Clerys department store are to receive about a third of what they are due since the store went bust.

At a meeting of Clerys' creditors yesterday, the company's liquidators said there would be some €400,000 made available to concession-holders.

The concession holders have long contended they are owed around €2m which should have been held for them in a trust.

Liquidators Kieran Wallace and Eamonn Richardson of KPMG are understood to have accepted that the concession holders have a valid claim to about €1.3m.

Redundancy

The creditors left out of pocket by the collapse of Clerys have set up a committee of inspections to represent their interests during the liquidation.

The committee, which will meet next Monday, will be made up of three former concession-holders, a member of trade union Siptu and a representative of the Department of Social Protection, which is expected to pay out at least €2.5m in redundancy to staff.

Clerys went out of business in June after Natrium, the com- pany that bought it from Gordon Bros, moved swiftly to put OCS Operations Ltd, which ran Clerys, into liquidation.

READ MORE: Emotional former Clerys employees tell of their frustration since store's closure

At the meeting, Mr Richardson is believed to have notified creditors that he had requested a statement of affairs from Gordon Brothers and Jim Brydie, who held the operating company for hours before it was put into liquidation.

Mr Wallace missed the meeting due to illness.

Solicitor Michael Lavelle, who is acting for the concession-holders, said the meeting was "an important first step".

"It is at an early stage so we obviously will be looking at what steps to take. The committee of inspections has been appointed - they'll have access to [what investigations take place].

"The liquidators' solicitor acknowledged that the trust claim is valid subject to court approval," he said.

The payment to concession-holders is likely to be made in October, subject to court approval.

Some 460 people lost their jobs when Clerys was shut down. The closure came on the same day the shop was bought by Natrium, a consortium led by Deirdre Foley's D2 Private and UK-based Cheyne Capital Management, with backing from US firm Quadrant Real Estate.

Natrium is thought to be planning a new shopping centre as well as offices and leisure facilities within the landmark Dublin building.

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