Receivers appointed to Superquinn


Receivers were appointed to the Superquinn chain of supermarkets this evening.

The chain, founded in 1960 by Feargal Quinn, employs almost 2,800 staff across the country. It has debts of around €400 million.

The receivers, Kieran Wallace and Eamonn Richardson of KPMG, were appointed by a syndicate of banks including Bank of Ireland, AIB and National Irish Bank.

All Superquinn stores will remain open for business and the group will be managed by the existing management team led by CEO Andrew Street. All full and part-time staff will continue to be employed throughout the receivership process.

Superquinn suppliers will be contacted by the receivers over the coming days to advise them of the implications of the receivership. Payment is ensured for future deliveries for the duration of the receivership.

The receivers say they are confident of a successful sale of the business to a suitable buyer.

In a statement this evening, Eamonn Richardson said the supermarket chain was heavily indebted primarily due to property related loans.

"Therefore, this receivership, together with the planned sale as a going concern is a positive development for Superquinn, its employees and customers. We hope to be in a position to release further details on a proposed sale in the coming days,” he said.

The retailer has been the subject of ongoing takeover speculation for more than two years, with Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and Asda often identified as potential overseas buyers and Dunnes Stores and Musgraves, the company which owns the Supervalu chain, touted as the most likely local suitors.

While Superquinn has repeatedly denied it is for sale the rumours have continued, and Musgraves has re-entered the frame in recent months having made tentative approaches to Superquinn, according to some reports.

Feargal Quinn sold it for a reported €450 million to Select Retail Holdings more than five years ago.

It recently opened stores in Rathgar, south Dublin, and at Heuston Station.

However, in 2009 it shed 400 jobs and closed a loss-making store in Dundalk, while in February it announced it was to close its Naas branch with a loss of 100 retail jobs.