The High Court has appointed an interim examiner to the group of companies that own the Dublin city centre pub Flannerys, which employs 39 people.
The application for protection was made just hours after the High Court, in a separate judgment, cleared the way for receivers to be appointed over the pub.
Ms Justice Mary Finlay Geoghegan said she would appoint Neil Hughes as interim examiner to Camden Taverns Ltd and related companies Camden Street Properties Ltd and Camden Street Investments Ltd, which own and operate the pub, on the basis of an independent accountant's opinion the business had a reasonable prospect of survival.
The court heard the companies, whose directors petitioned the court for examinership, are insolvent.
The court heard they got into difficulties due to an unsustainable level of debt and owe some €11 million to venture capital fund Vanguard Property Finance Ltd.
The directors, Ian Redmond, Michael Ormonde and Colin Dolan, also blame the decline in the pub trade for their current difficulties.
Ms Justice Finlay Geoghegan, appointing Mr Hughes, said she had some reservations and did not want to prejudice Vanguard’s position as secured creditor.
If Mr Hughes was not confirmed as examiner at the return date for the petition, any costs he incurred would not come out of the company’s assets, she directed.
Last February, Vanguard acquired a €13 million loan advanced to Camden Street investments by Bank of Scotland. The loan was used to buy the pub in 2008.