O’Briens Sandwich Bars has confirmed that its head office in the Republic has been placed in examinership.

A statement released by the firm this evening said that the examinership does not affect the 85 or so franchise outlets of the company in Ireland.

O’Briens’ founder and chairman Brody Sweeney said the action was an effort to restructure the business and to protect jobs.

‘Our decision is ultimately caused by the collapse in property values,’ said Mr Sweeney.

The company said it expected most of the stores will stay open, but their survival is dependant on compromise from landlords on rent.

‘We have had to close a number of stores as some landlords remain intransigent, and refuse to reduce rents, and some of our franchisees have been struggling to pay their rents for the same reason,’ said Mr Sweeney.