JUST IN: Court Stops ShopRite From Transferring Assets Abroad Over $10m Debt—-A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has barred Shoprite Checkers (PTY) Limited from transferring its assets abroad due to a pending case over a $10m debt.
Justice Mohammed Liman issued a mareva injunction order stopping the South African franchise from disposing of or transferring its assets out of the jurisdiction of the court. This was apparently done due to Shoprite’s planned exit from Nigeria.
The South African firm lost its appeal on the case and subsequently took the case to the Supreme Court to try to overturn the judgement.
According to the Nigerian firm, it introduced Shoprite to the retail business in Nigeria and was supposed to enter into a joint partnership with firm as talks were already at an advanced stage. AIC said however that in 2005, the franchise breached their contract and set up its retail franchise across country without its knowledge.
While Shoprite denied the existence of contact, AIC was able to prove its case at the High Court in Lagos as well as the Court of Appeal in Abuja. Although it took the case to the Supreme Court, Shoprite went ahead to announce its intention to sell its assets to Nigerian investors and leave the country.
This prompted AIC to secure the mareva injunction on July, 14, 2020 against the South Africans which read;
“the judgment debtor/1st respondent,” and its privies “from transferring, assigning, charging, disposing of its trademark, franchise and intellectual property in a manner that will alter, dissipate or remove these non-cash assets and other assets, including but not limited to trade receivables, trade payables, payment for purchase of merchandise, from within the jurisdiction of this honourable court.”
A second respondent in the case, Retail Supermarket Nigeria Limited was also ordered to disclose its financial statements for 2018 and 2019 to enable the
“judgment creditor/applicant determine the judgment debtor’s/respondent’s funds in its custody in order to preserve same in satisfaction of the judgment of the Court of Appeal in Appeal No: CA/L/288/2018.”