South African firm Platinum Holdings is set to launch a R100 million damages claim against LA Jeans and its parent company, LA Group, following a high court ruling over the planned sale of LA stores to Platinum.

Platinum, which owns the Aca Joe, Vertigo, Jenni Button and Hilton brands, wanted to acquire 15 LA Jean stores in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Pretoria and Durban and 12 Oxygen stores in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town, and Port Elizabeth.

However, a dispute arose when the LA Group said there was no binding agreement because several suspensive conditions had not been met.

Both parties agreed to go to arbitration and late last month the arbitrator awarded in favour of Platinum. But the LA Group still said the agreement could not be implemented and refused to hand over the stores.

A high court judge on Wednesday confirmed the arbitration award but declined to order the return of the stores.

Following that hearing, Marcel Joubert, Platinum's chief executive, said that the LA Group, in backing out of the deal, had "staged a Harry Houdini wriggle manoeuvre of note" and that his attorneys would launch a damages action of up to R100 million.

He added that LA was turning away a deal worth R8m-13m while setting shareholders up for a damages claim.

Showkat Mukadam, LA's managing director, declined to comment but said the court had made its decision.