Chartbusters survival hearing adjourned

THE examiner of Chartbusters home entertainment stores has been given more time to put together a survival scheme for the stores with a view to saving some 170 jobs.

Mr Justice Peter Kelly yesterday adjourned to Tuesday next a hearing to consider whether to approve a survival scheme for the group after being told by Rossa Fanning, for examiner Neil Hughes, his client needed time to address certain matters.

The court heard potential investors in the group wish to consider a recent letter from Bank of Scotland Ireland concerning the terms under which it was prepared to continue providing facilities for the group. Approval of the scheme could save up to 172 jobs, it was indicated.

Various creditors represented in court yesterday indicated support for the scheme with some modifications while the Revenue Commissioners said they were neutral on the matter.

The court was also told by Mr Fanning a situation had arisen where court protection should be lifted for one of the companies in the group, a non-trading leasehold holding company, Stanway Holdings Ltd (SHL).

This might affect “at worst” 15 jobs in two stores in Phibsborough and Tallaght, counsel said. The judge made the order lifting protection for SHL.

The court previously heard it was hoped some 23 of the 36 stores in the group might be saved. It was also told the examiner has negotiated substantial rent reductions and hoped the group could make a profit of about e1 million this year once a survival scheme is in place.

The judge appointed Mr Hughes examiner to the group on January 26 last. The application for examinership was opposed by two substantial creditors — Winchurch and Lombard Ireland, owed some e1.8 million between them, while other creditors owed some e18 million, including the Revenue, adopted a neutral position.

Chartbusters was incorporated in 1993 as a video rental business. As a result of competition and changes in technology, it later diversified into internet services and tanning booths.


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