Corbin & King fends off High Court challenge over debt repayment: Corbin & King has fought off a High Court challenge to a proposed £38mn rescue package. The FT reports that a subsidiary of Thai hotel operator Minor International – Corbin & King’s biggest shareholder – attempted to block the restaurant group from repaying a debt to the Thai company after Minor sought to call it in. Mr Justice Foxton said, however, he was “not persuaded” to grant the injunction and would set out his reasoning in a ruling later today. The judge’s decision comes after a bitter dispute between Corbin & King and Minor, which forced the group into administration in January. Minor had called on Corbin & King to repay almost £34m of loans within 24 hours. Fraser Campbell, the barrister representing MI Squared, a subsidiary of Minor, accused Corbin & King of trying to “disrupt an orderly administration” by pursuing a deal “with a body… that has been perfectly plain that it wishes to support them in the battle for the company”. Campbell said it was “entirely unclear… how this new transaction will actually have any effect on rescuing the companies or protecting the interests of creditors”. He added that Minor was “content” not to be repaid the debt. King said the landlords of the group’s restaurants could forfeit their leases if the moratorium were lifted. He said there was “no doubt in my mind or in the minds of the other C&K director that if the subsidiaries were – as Minor want – put into administration, this would be disastrous for all concerned”. Barrister Nigel Dougherty, representing King, Corbin and Zuleika Fennell, the group’s managing director, said the terms of Knighthead’s loan were “manifestly better than the terms on which [Minor] has extended its debt”. According to King’s statement, Knighthead offered to buy Corbin & King’s assets for £45m in February as well as offering a loan to refinance all debts including the sums owed to Minor, in order to avoid insolvency. Doherty said Knighthead had “confidence” in King and Corbin and was “prepared to work with them” in an effort to “move forward successfully”. Marion Walsh-Hédouin, a vice-president at Minor, said the judgment “resolves nothing”, with the restaurant group replacing one secured creditor with another. “As today’s evidence showed, Mr King accepts that Corbin & King is insolvent and in need of strong financial support to secure its future, something Minor International has always been prepared and repeatedly offered to provide,” she added.


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