2,800 jobs at Superquinn secured as directors withdraw examinership bid

THE future of 2,800 jobs at Superquinn has been secured after its directors dropped a legal challenge to put the business into examinership.

The court action was withdrawn when the Musgrave Group announced plans for a €10 million fund to pay suppliers who lost money when the supermarket chain went into receivership.

Gerry Light, of the Mandate trade union, said the move was in the best interests of the business and all the stakeholders, particularly its members.

“On the presumption that the Musgrave bid is granted approval by the Competition Authority, we look forward to working with the new owners with a view to sustaining the jobs and terms and conditions of our members into the future.”

Musgrave agreed to buy the struggling grocery business which was drowning under more than €400m worth of debt to banks for property deals.

In a statement, the directors of Superquinn, Kieran Ryan, David Courtney, Terry Sweeney, Bernard Doyle and Jerry O’Reilly, confirmed they had withdrawn the High Court action.

“With the support fund in place, we now believe that the receivership process is in the best interests of our suppliers, colleagues and the many other partners of Superquinn,” they said.

The fund will help suppliers who have experienced losses that are not covered by credit insurance as a result of the receivership.

Speaking at the MacGill summer school in Glenties, Co Donegal, Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney said the multi-million euro fund is a “significant development” for suppliers.

However, he added that not every small business connected to Superquinn will be covered and that the dispute surrounding the supermarket chain had damaged the Irish food business.

“The fund isn’t going to cover all debts, all money owed, but it is going to cover the majority of money owed through the process. Hopefully that situation can be improved even further,” Mr Coveney said.

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