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Homebase Ireland received €3.4m post-examinership investment

THE Irish unit of Homebase got a €3.4m shot in the arm to prop up the business as it exited examinership.

New company filings show that Homebase House and Garden Centre received the cash from related British firms.

The Homebase operation was placed in examinership in the summer, following similar moves by rivals in Ireland including B&Q, owned by Kingfisher, and Atlantic Homecare, part of the Grafton Group.

Entering examinership has given the Irish Homebase unit time to renegotiate rents at its outlets. It initially planned to close three of its 15 outlets here, including one at Fonthill in Dublin, another in Carlow and one in Castlebar, Co Mayo.

At the time, the chain employed 558 full- and part-time staff. The three outlets it planned to close employed just under 100 people in total.

The company said its business here had suffered heavily during the downturn, with sales slumping 31pc since 2009, and had been unprofitable for each of the previous five years despite remedial action that had been taken by management.

It exited the examinership process in October, having decided to retain one of the three outlets -- Fonthill -- that had been slated to close. That left it with 13 stores.

Homebase is part of the Home Retail Group that also owns Argos.

Source : John Mulligan - Irish Independent
www.independent.ie/business/irish/homebase-chain-here-gets-34m-cash-boost-as-it-exits-examinership-29843335.html

17 December 2013
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