Kingfisher puts B&Q’s Ireland unit into bankruptcy protection

B&Q IRELAND was placed into a form of bankruptcy protection yesterday in a last-ditch attempt to save the loss-making chain.

The company, which is owned by FTSE 100 group Kingfisher, operates nine stores in the Republic of Ireland but has been hit by the downturn in household spending. It has also failed to renegotiate rents with its landlords.

The company was placed into receivership by a Dublin court, giving it 100 days of protection from its creditors. It currently employs 690 people but wants to close four stores in an attempt to balance the books.

“The management team is hopeful that a sustainable business can emerge from the examinership process, based on a restructuring of the company,” said B&Q Ireland chairman Brian Mooney.

PwC has been appointed to oversee the examinership process, which is similar to administration.

The British B&Q business, also owned by Kingfisher, is unaffected by the decision.