The bulk of the 583 full- and part-time jobs at the company are likely to be lost, Mr Justice Paul Gilligan heard yesterday.
The company’s owners, Oxtermont Ltd, which is part of UK-based Hilco Capital, petitioned the court for the appointment of Michael McAteer of Grant Thornton Ireland as provisional liquidator of Xtra-Vision Entertainment Ltd and related company Xtra-Vision Ireland Ltd, which owns the stock.
Xtra-Vision Entertainment Ltd operates over 80 outlets in the Republic and the North
Mr Justice Gilligan, who said it was “unfortunate the company is no longer viable”, confirmed Mr McAteer’s appointment as provisional liquidator after being told the firms are insolvent and unable to pay debts as they fall due.
Edward Farrelly, for the company, said the irreversible decline in the film-rental market was the main reason it was seeking liquidation. The company said it sustained a “very significant” decline in revenues in 2015, down over €12.4m from the previous year.
The appointment of a provisional liquidator, who would secure the company’s assets, would aid the orderly winding up of the company, said Mr Farrelly.
He said the appointment of a liquidator could result in some jobs being saved, as some positions could be secured at related companies such as HMV.
Unfortunately, said Mr Farrelly, it is expected that the bulk of Xtra-Vision’s employees would lose their jobs. He said any gift voucher issued by the company will be honoured.
Counsel said the current owners are part of the Hilco Capital group which specialise in corporate restructuring. It acquired Xtra-Vision in 2013 from receivers. The business has been in existence for more than 30 years.
Mr Farrelly said it was always accepted the film-rental business is a “sunset industry” due to streaming and satellite TV.
Its decline has been accelerated by technology improvements in streaming as well as illegal downloading and piracy of films, said Mr Farrelly.
Xtra-vision’s turnover for last year was down €12.4m from the previous year and it made a loss of €2.5m in 2015, he said. The owners were of the opinion the decline was “manifest” and “irreversible”, and would continue to suffer significant losses in 2016.
The matter will return before the courts next month.
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