Sale of Superquinn back on track

Wednesday 27 July 2011 23.04
Superquinn - Fund will help suppliers not covered by insurance
Superquinn - Fund will help suppliers not covered by insurance

Superquinn's proposed sale to Musgrave is set to proceed after a petition seeking to have the company put in examinership was withdrawn.

Musgrave this morning announced a €10m fund to pay suppliers to Superquinn who lost money when the supermarket chain went into receivership.

The fund covers suppliers who did not have any credit insurance and those who had credit insurance that only covered a certain amount.

That scheme is dependent on the sale of Superquinn to fellow retailers Musgrave going ahead.

The fund is fully supported by Musgrave and by the syndicate of banks to Superquinn and will be administered by the receivers.

Lyndon MacCann, Senior Counsel for the company and two of its directors, said in light of the 'very significant offer' made by Musgrave to suppliers, his clients were happy to withdraw their application seeking to have the company put into examinership, giving it protection for up to 100 days from its creditors.

Mr MacCann said his clients were 'now supporting the receivership process'.

He added his clients had 'nothing to gain personally' in seeking to having an examiner appointed to Superquinn.

Mr MacCann said they entered the process to ensure that employees and suppliers of the the company 'were properly looked after'.

Superquinn went into receivership last week after announcing debts of €400m.

The Musgrave group has offered to buy the supermarket chain and receivers say the sale would secure 2,800 jobs, but suppliers would be left with around €50m in losses.

Fund welcomed

Minister for Agriculture, Food & Fisheries Simon Coveney welcomed the announcement of a fund for Superquinn suppliers.

Speaking at the MacGill Summer School in Glenties, the minister said he hoped it would help small suppliers stay in business.

The Irish Farmers' Association has also welcomed the news and said the fund could be the difference between viability and bankruptcy for many suppliers.

Food and Drink Industry Ireland has also welcomed the move by Musgrave.

FDII Director Paul Kelly said: 'The past week has shown the extent of the impact that this issue is having across the entire food sector.

'There now appears to be broader understanding of the issues facing the industry and we welcome this very positive initiative.'