Bestseller Retail Ireland, which operates young fashion chains Jack & Jones and Vero Moda in the Republic of Ireland, is due to enter a High Court battle with landlords this week over its attempts to exit its leases, according to reports.
Bestseller Retail Ireland is the Irish franchise partner of Danish brand house Bestseller and operates 14 stores across ROI.
The group said it wants to exit all 14 leases as part of an examinership process (similar to the UK administration process) because it is no longer able to pay the rents, according to the Irish Post.
However, some of the landlords of the properties involved are expected to argue that the company must honour its original rental agreements.
Bestseller Retail Ireland, which also operates the Only and Name It stores in Ireland, sought protection from creditors in February after running into financial difficulties.
The company’s examiner, PricewaterhouseCoopers is due to tell the court this week that the 14 leases must be repudiated to prevent the group from going into liquidation.
The High Court had previously rejected such applications until a recent ruling by the Supreme Court, which ruled that a company in examinership could repudiate leases.
Bestseller Retail Ireland is understood to have claimed that upward-only rent reviews had caused the company major financial difficulties.
According to reports, Danish company Bestseller has already injected €5.5m (£4.8m) into the Irish franchise partner but has refused to supply additional funds until a radical restructuring has taken place.
Bestseller has more than 5,000 stores across 43 countries including four company-operated stores in the UK. The company said last year that it plans to open 50 UK franchise stores over the next three years.