Wednesday 21 March 2018

Liquidator to be appointed at Select Retail

John Mulligan

John Mulligan

SELECT Retail Holdings, the company that high-profile investors used to buy Superquinn in 2005 for €450m, will rattle through its final death throes next week as a liquidator is appointed to the firm.

When it acquired Superquinn from the family of Feargal Quinn, Select Retail was backed by high-profile developers and business people. They included Bernard McNamara, David Courtney, Jerry O'Reilly, Simon Cantrell, Terry Sweeney and Kieran Ryan.

Mr McNamara later sold his stake before Superquinn got into its most severe difficulties.

Last year, Bank of Ireland had joint receivers appointed to the chain as it struggled in a lethal retail environment and was threatened with collapse under a weight of debts that had been racked up to fund the acquisition. AIB and National Irish Bank were also owed money. The receivers appointed by Bank of Ireland last year were Kieran Wallace and Eamonn Richardson of KPMG. They immediately set about trying to find a buyer for the business. But that process also headed for the High Court.

Mr Ryan, who owned 10pc of Select Retail Holdings, and Mr Courtney, who owned 14.5pc, wanted to seek leave to have an examiner appointed to the supermarket group and to have the receivership set aside.

They insisted the company would have been better off under such circumstances. Following brief hearings in the High Court, the directors later withdrew their petition.

Musgrave, which also controls the SuperValu and Centra brands in Ireland, paid about €250m for Superquinn. It established a €10m fund to pay suppliers to Superquinn that had been left out of pocket. It has since set about trying to revitalise the business.

It's believed that Derek Earl of Somers, Murphy and Earl will be nominated as liquidator of Select Retail Holdings.

Irish Independent

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