An interim examiner has been appointed to sportswear chain Elverys, which employs 654 people in 56 stores nationwide.
The move by NAMA company National Asset Loan Management Ltd (NALM) came after the unravelling of a planned pre-pack receivership in advance of a management buyout.
Rossa Fanning, for NALM, said his client was optimistic in relation to the company continuing as a going concern and believed it had a very good prospect of surviving.
There are two rival bidders for it – the existing management and another company called Sports Direct.
Counsel said NALM believed the underlying business was viable as a going concern, once the debt issues were dealt with.
NALM has indicated it will give financial support once the company has court protection.
Mr Justice Brian McGovern was told the board of the company which owns Elverys Sports – Mayo-based Staunton Sports – supported the petition by NALM for the appointment of an interim examiner.
The High Court judge was told NAMA was the company's largest secured creditor, with loans due and owing of more than €23m.
Mr Justice Brian McGovern was also told there was an urgency to the appointment of an interim examiner to assist in negotiations with suppliers to ensure continuity of supply to the sports chain.
It had not been possible to produce an independent accountant's report because of the exceptional circumstances in relation to the company, the judge said.
He appointed Simon Coyle of Mazars as interim examiner initially for the next six days, and said the independent accountant's report should be available to the court on the next date, February 11.
In an affidavit grounding the petition, NALM said it had, on January 31 last, following receipt of an invitation to appoint a receiver, issued a formal demand letter to the company for €23m and stg£253,601.
The 2012 audited accounts for Elverys showed a net liability position of about €22m, and that the company has suffered through lack of investment over the past number of years.