By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The 361-room Intercontinental Hotel in Lagos is to be taken over by Skye Bank Plc following a court order.
Counsel to the lender, Mr Kunle Ogunba (SAN), claimed Milan Industries Limited, the parent company of the hospitality firm, defaulted in the repayment of a loan it got from its client, which necessitated the suit.
In its ruling, a Federal High Court in Lagos directed Skye Bank to take over ownership of the five-star hotel.
Justice Babs Kuewumi ordered Skye Bank to take over all assets of Milan Industries Limited including Intercontinental Hotel, which is covered by a deed of legal mortgage, pending the hearing and determination of substantive suit.
“An order is hereby made restraining the defendant, its agents, servants and/or privies from withdrawing, interfering with, tampering, removing from jurisdiction of this court or otherwise dealing with the defendant’s funds in any bank or financial institution in Nigeria or outside Nigeria in view of the receivership status of the defendant pending the hearing and final determination of the motion on notice filed along herewith,” Justice Kuewumi held.
“The plaintiff shall file an undertaking to indemnify the defendant should it turn out that this order ought not to have been made,” the judge added.
He also granted the bank’s prayer to appoint Ogunba as the receiver-manager of the hotel in order to preserve its assets and directed the Assistant Inspector General of Police, Zone 2, the Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and their agents to assist Ogunba in the performance of his duties as the receiver-manager.
According to the bank, it granted loans of $29.8 million and N3.8 billion to Milan Industries Limited to construct the hotel.
Skye Bank further said it raised an overdraft facility of N500 million in favour of Milan Industries Limited to pay contractors and importation of material required for completing the hotel, but lamented that Milan Industries Limited failed to repay the loans as agreed.
“At the expiration of the tenure of the various facilities extended by the plaintiff, the defendant failed and/or neglected to liquidate the various facilities and same continues to accrue interest.
“The facilities availed the defendant have since matured and/or expired and the defendant has failed to liquidate same and failed to comply with various repayment plans of the principal and interest despite several magnanimities extended to it by the plaintiff,” Skye Bank disclosed.
The Lagos Intercontinental Hotel is believed to be one of the most expensive hotels in Lagos and Nigeria.
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