The High Court has approved the appointment of an interim examiner to the parent company of Apple product re-seller Compu b.

The examiner has been appointed to the Irish headquarters and three related UK companies.

The company has a total of six Irish outlets in Dublin, Limerick, Cork and Galway and 24 stores in the UK. Most of its 395 employees are based in the UK outlets.

The application for the appointment of an interim examiner was sought in relation to Compu b Retail Ltd, with registered offices at Ballymount, Dublin, and three UK-based companies, Compu b Ltd, Stormfront Retail Limited and Stormfront Technology Ltd.

Compu b Ltd (CBL) acquired the two Stormfront companies in late 2019 and owns Compu b Retail Ltd (CBRL).

A report from an independent expert said that the companies had a reasonable prospect of survival as a going concern if certain conditions were met as part of a restructuring plan.

In the petition, it was stated CBRL was incorporated to trade the group's Irish activities through a separate entity mainly to protect against concerns arising from Brexit and foreign exchange rate volatility.

The petition said the Compu b business had been profitable but a number of factors had significant negative impacts on the companies and their cash flows including the Covid-19 pandemic, store closures resulting from that, under-performing stores and the acceleration of customer trends towards buying online. 

Unless court protection is secured, the companies will be unable to pay its debts as they fall due from July 2020 with a deficit of €3.3m by the end of July 2020, it was stated.

The judge made directions for advertising the petition and returned the matter to next week.

Earlier, having heard evidence from Andrew Victory, group financial director of the companies, the judge said he was satisfied the UK companies have their centre of main interests in Ireland. There was a clear commercial rationale for the change in centre of main interests from the UK to here, he said.

Mr Justice Denis McDonald said he was satisfied there was sufficient evidence to appoint David O'Connor of BDO as interim examiner.