Two Irish landlords of the liquidated Monsoon business have won a High Court challenge in which they claimed their leases to the women’s fashion stores remained in full force here despite a UK creditors arrangement.
Apperley Investments Ltd, Tailwind Investments Ltd, and Martina Investments Ltd were landlords to the former Monsoon store in Dublin's Grafton St. RESAM Cork UC and RESAM Properties Ltd were landlords for the Monsoon store and the Accessorize store, both in St Patrick's Street, Cork.
Mr Justice Denis McDonald found that a UK creditors voluntary arrangement (CVA) was not entitled to be recognised here in relation to both landlords’ lease agreements with Monsoon companies.
The court heard the total annual rent payable for the Irish stores was €735,000 and the CVA would effect significant reductions in rent for them.
The Dublin landlords sued Monsoon Accessorize Ltd, the UK parent. The Cork owners also sued Monsoon Accessorize and the Irish arm, Monsoon Accessorize Ireland Ltd, or MAIL.
The Irish arm went into liquidation while the UK parent was placed in administration and later bought out by one of its owners.
The Irish landlords sought a declaration that their Irish leases were unaffected by the CVA.
The judge said there was a fundamental failure to provide an appropriate opportunity to the Irish landlords to make representations to UK creditors meeting which made a decision which would have significant effects on their property rights.
He also granted a declaration that the lease obligations of the MAIL company under a licence agreement it had with the Monsoon company were not discharged, or in any way lessened or affected, by the CVA.