Friday 19 January 2018

Video-rental giant faces a new wind-up bid as debts continue to mount

Laura Noonan

LESS than 18 months after it emerged from examinership, home-entertainment giant Chartbusters is facing a wind-up petition from one of its creditors.

The petition is being lodged by Michael and Mary Murphy and is due in front of the courts on August 11, the Irish Independent has learned. Failing a resolution before that date, the Murphys are expected to ask the court to wind up Chartbusters so it can discharge its debt to them.

Neither the Murphys nor Chartbusters could be reached for comment last night. Neil Hughes, the examiner who successfully restructured the firm last April, failed to return calls for comment.

News of the petition comes two months after the taxman registered a €37,000 judgment against Chartbusters Ltd. The firm faced a wind-up petition from a major creditor in early 2009 and went on to ask for court protection so it could restructure its debts.

That protection was granted by the High Court in late January, despite the opposition of two Chartbusters' creditors, and Mr Hughes was installed.

The home entertainment giant emerged from examinership last April, having secured €700,000 in new investment, and agreed hefty write-downs, with creditors owed some €15m.

The examinership deal also saw Chartbusters founder Richard Murphy agree to exit the firm by the end of 2009 and cede his shareholding so the firm could make a "fresh start".

Founded in 1992 as a video rental business, Chartbusters has diversified into internet cafes and tanning booths in recent years. The firm had 37 stores and 267 staff when it went into examinership; when it emerged from the court-led process, store numbers were down to 28 and staff numbers were down to 172.

Chartbusters hasn't filed accounts with the Companies' Office since 2004, putting the business at risk of strike off. There are five charges registered against the business, in favour of Anglo Irish Bank, Bank of Scotland (Ireland) and Ulster Bank.

Irish Independent

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