An interim examiner has been appointed by the High Court to Elverys Sports which employs 654 people in 56 stores nationwide.
The move on the petition of NAMA comes as the a pre pack recevership of the Mayo company before a management buy out unravelled in the last few days.
Mr Justice Brian McGovern was told that the Board of the company which owns Elverys Sports - Staunton Sports supported the peititon by the NAMA company National Asset Loan Management Ltd for an interim examiner to be appointed.
The judge was told that it was not a hostile petition and NAMA is the company's largest secured creditor with loan facilities due and owing of €23Million and stg£250,000.
Moving the petition, Rossa Fanning BL said NAMA was optimistic in relation to the company continuing as a going concern and believes it has a very good prospect of surviving with two rival bidders - the existing management and another company called Sports Dirfect now jockeying for position. Counsel said there was no doubt Elverys is insolvent but it is believed the underlying business is viable as a going concern once the debt issues are dealt with.
NAMA he said have indicated it will give financial support once the company has court protection.
Counsel said NAMA wanted a successful resolution of the examinership process.
Mr Justice Brian McGovern appointing Simon Coyle of Mazars as interim examiner intitially for the next six days deemed the circumstances exceptional and set down the hearing of the petition for February 18 next.