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200 jobs safe as firm behind Petmania outlets exits examinership

The family-owned Kilkenny company behind Petmania outlets has exited examinership, safeguarding roughly 200 jobs at the group.

The O'Keeffe family operates 14 Petmania outlets around the country, as well as the Meubles furniture store, a wine outlet and a garden centre.

It entered examinership in March as it sought to restructure its operations amid a tougher economic environment.

Shane O'Keeffe, managing director of the O'Keeffe Group, said the examinership process had facilitated a "cost restructuring" that he maintained would ensure the future viability of the company.

He said a scheme of arrangement presented to the High Court would provide for "long-term success".

One Petmania branch, in Drogheda, closed last month. The group renegotiated a number of its rent agreements.

Mr O'Keeffe said the group's landlords had "contributed greatly" to the long-term sustainability of the company.

A Petmania branch in Limerick was at the centre of last week's record settlement made to a severely disabled woman who claimed she had contracted an avian airborne infection after working in the outlet in 2008.

She had sued Petmania and the O'Keeffe Group, as well as the Health Service Executive, for negligently mismanaging her case.

All the parties denied the allegations. The case was settled out of court.

Irish Independent