Judge continues court protection for Elverys Sports

A judge has continued High Court protection for Elverys Sports after receiving an independent accountant’s report expressing the view the company has a reasonable prospect of survival.

Mr Justice Brian McGovern was also told yesterday the Nama will continue supporting Staunton Sports, the company operating the Elverys stores, during the period of court protection when rival bids for the company will be assessed.

The judge has fixed next Tuesday for the hearing of Nama’s petition seeking to confirm examinership for the company.

Last Friday, Nama secured interim court protection and an interim examiner for the company, which employs 654 people in 56 stores, despite not having the independent accountants’ report normally required for such applications.

Rossa Fanning, for Nama, said the matter was urgent arising from threats by suppliers to withdraw supplies and other issues and Nama had been unable to procure an independent accountants’ report in the time available.

Mr Justice McGovern agreed to grant protection on Nama’s assurance that an IAR would be provided. Yesterday he was told the report was available.

Mr Fanning secured orders allowing the report to be provided in redacted form so as to ensure sensitive commercial information concerning the company would not be made public.

Last Friday, the judge was told Nama is optimistic the company can survive with rival bidders vying for the business.

The petition also outlined a series of communications between Nama and Staunton Sports and stated Nama had told the company, unless it received a satisfactory response to various matters by 10am on Friday, Nama was reserving all of its rights up to and including petitioning the court for an interim examiner.

Nama was informed the company would support the petition.

Nama is owed €23m after acquiring the firm’s AIB loans in 2010 and 2011.


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