B&Q Ireland Ltd has successfully filed a petition with the High Court in Dublin seeking the appointment of an examiner.

The court has granted protection for the company and has appointed Declan McDonald of PWC as interim examiner.

B&Q has nine stores around the country, including three in Dublin. It also has stores in Athlone, Cork, Galway, Limerick, Naas and Waterford and has a workforce of about 690 people.

The company has operated here since 2002 and is owned by UK company Kingfisher.

During examinership, the company will have 100 days to restructure the business and come up with a plan to rescue the business.

In a statement, the company said all nine stores were expected to continue trading and that all employees will be paid during this time.

It also said that all pre-paid goods and services, including kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms and their installation, together with gift vouchers and credit notes will be honoured.

The company added that suppliers will be paid for goods and services supplied during the process.

The company said that in order to have a ''reasonable prospect of survival'', it will have to consider closing uneconomic stores and to quitting property leases.

''Based on management's forecasts and the company's current trading performance, it is proposed that at least two stores, Athlone and Waterford, will be closed.

"In addition, most of the other stores will require the agreement, by individual landlords, of substantially improved terms. In light of the required change to terms, management consider it likely that a further two stores will be closed,'' today's statement added. 

The Mandate trade union said it is seeking an urgent meeting with B&Q management.

Assistant General Secretary Gerry Light said workers were very concerned about their future, particularly at the two stores earmarked for closure.