The Sydney Morning Herald writes,
Gloria Jeans owner is insolvent, court told
The parent company of Gloria Jeans Coffee, co-owned by the Hillsong Church elder Nabi Saleh, is in ”financial dire straits” and should be put into liquidation and an investigation held into its affairs, the NSW Supreme Court has been told.
It is the latest shot fired in the multimillion-dollar lawsuit against the coffee giant’s parent company, Jireh International, by a small US-based coffee supplier, Western Export Services.
On June 11, the court ruled that Jireh must pay the export company millions in commissions and interest after it found Jireh had breached a joint venture agreement. Yesterday the parties were back in court, fighting over the formula used to calculate the total owed to Western Export Services.
Both parties were required to submit evidence to the court on their financial circumstances. ”The defendant is hopelessly insolvent,” said Jim Johnson, counsel for Western Export Services. ”There are public policy issues as to whether this company should be allowed to keep trading.”
After revising the formula, Justice David Hammerschlag ordered that Jireh pay more than $12 million to Western Export Services, plus interest and court costs. The judgment also requires that Jireh honour the original joint venture agreement, which provides ongoing commissions on sales of Gloria Jeans coffee and products to franchisees, worth $1.865 million in the year to June 2010.
Mr Saleh and his co-owner, Peter Irvine, a former chief executive of the now-closed Mercy Ministries, sought a stay in the judgment, leaving the way open for them to appeal the decision.
The judge granted the stay order, but instructed Jireh to provide assurances that it would not ”dispose of any assets or conduct any dealings other than in the course of normal business”.
In December, Mr Irvine and fellow Mercy Ministry directors admitted engaging in false, misleading and deceptive conduct following an Australian Competition and Consumer Commission investigation into the practices of the Hillsong-connected organisation. They were required to pay $1050 and apologise to each person affected by Mercy Ministries’ conduct, all young women with mental health and drug and alcohol problems.
Source: By Ruth Pollard, Gloria Jeans owner is insolvent, court told, Sydney Morning Herald, http://www.smh.com.au/small-business/franchising/gloria-jeans-owner-is-insolvent-court-told-20100816-126wz.html, Published 17/08/2010. (Accessed 22/11/2014.)