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High court strikes out case against InterContinental hotels

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High Court

Milan Industries Limited, owners of Intercontinental Hotels, Lagos has taken over the management of the five- star hotel following the ruling by a federal high court, which struck out the receivership suit filed against the company by a creditor bank.

A statement by Dodco Services Limited/Company Secretary on Thursday said: “We wish to further state that the receivership action instituted by Skye Bank Plc. against Milan Industries Limited in Suit No. FHC/L/CS/255/17 was on the 20th day of March 2018 struck out in its entirety by Hon. Justice Babs Kuewumi of the Federal High Court, sitting at Ikoyi, Lagos.

The implication of the order of the court striking out the above action is that the interim order of 14th March 2017 by which Mr. Kunle Ogunba was managing Intercontinental Hotels as receiver/manager is automatically discharged.

“Again, upon the delivery of the ruling of the court on the 20th day of March 2018, Milan Industries Limited immediately took possession of the hotels as well as the management of the hotels on the said 20th day of March 2018 at about 4pm.”

Delivering ruling on the matter, Kuewumi said: “I hold that this suit was not properly commenced. Having thus found, it is no longer necessary to consider the applicant’s third application as well as the plaintiff’s application for interlocutory injunction, which are now academic as one cannot put something on nothing and expect it to stand. In the circumstance, this suit is hereby struck out for not being properly commenced.”

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) had in January threatened to pull out of Nigeria over alleged breach of contract and debt pile up by the receiver/manager appointed by the creditor bank.

The IHG, which went into an international management agreement with Milan Industries Ltd, owners of InterContinental Hotel Lagos, in January 2012, had in a notice of termination of the agreement, dated January 3, 2018 expressed its displeasure with Messrs Kunle Ogunba who was appointed receiver/manager by Skye Bank following an interim court order.

Milan Industries Ltd had taken a facility from Skye Bank to part finance the five star hotel located in Victoria Island, Lagos and managed by IHG. The Milan Group, it was gathered, has up till 2021 to pay back the facility but in a curious move, the bank obtained an interim order to take over the management of the hotel.

The move did not gone down well with IHG which has severally complained about the way and manner the receiver/manager has been going about the assignment culminating, among other issues, in “failure to pay in full and on time all amounts due to IHG,” developments the IHG considers as a fundamental breach of existing agreements.
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