ADM Londis, the Republic of Ireland symbol group, has won the opening skirmish in its legal battle against two former directors who plan to switch their stores to the Centra and SuperValu chains operated by its rival Musgrave Group.

The company sought an injunction in the Irish High Court in Dublin to prevent the store transfer on the grounds the former directors were in breach of their contractual obligations.

Now both men, Sean Donovan and Dominic Duffy, who operate seven stores in greater Dublin, have agreed that four of the outlets will remain with Londis, at least for the time being. The High Court adjourned a hearing on the contractual dispute for a month while urging the two sides to use the intervening period to agree a settlement.

There is intense rivalry between ADM Londis and Musgrave in the Republic. Two years ago, ADM Londis recruited a Dublin city centre chain of nine stores, Griffins, which had previously traded as Centra. It has since been developed into a network of 17 Londis stores across Dublin.

Musgrave, which owns the Londis franchise in the UK, has 407 Centra and 180 SuperValu outlets in the Republic, while ADM Londis has 360 stores.