The corporate rescue process of examinership saved close to 600 jobs last year across nine companies, according to figures compiled by professional services firm Baker Tilly.
The 593 jobs saved was little changed from the previous year, even if the number of examinerships fell from 19 in 2019, according to the Baker Tilly Examinership Index.
Neil Hughes, managing partner at Baker Tilly, said that there may be a spike in the second half of this year of companies seeking court protection from creditors to restructure their finances, as extraordinary State Covid-19 supports are phased out and the full effect of Brexit on trade and supply chains is felt.
“Although it’s encouraging to see that 593 jobs were saved through examinership last year, today’s index points towards the fact that the economic impact of Covid-19 has not yet been fully realised,” he said.
“Companies are being kept on life support with the help of the Irish Government, the warehousing of Revenue debt, and the forbearance of creditors. To be sustainable over the longer-term, many businesses will need to restructure to enable them to operate and succeed into the future.”
Among the nine Irish businesses that successfully exited examinership last year were airline CityJet, Galway-based DPD deliveries operator Supreme Deliveries, and food distribution group Dublin Food Sales.
A total of 16,000 jobs have been saved through the examinership process in the past decade, according to Mr Hughes.
Eir's examinership in 2012 was the largest since the mechanism was brought in almost 31 years ago to deal with the threatened insolvency at the time of the Goodman Group of beef processing companies.
The former State-owned company racked up €4.1 billion of debt through a series of changes in control before it filed for examinership in 2012, resulting in €1.8 billion of its borrowings being written off.