DUBLIN Jan 31 The Irish operations of home
improvements retailer B&Q were granted court protection on
Thursday to allow for a restructuring aimed at stemming
"unsustainable losses," the company said.
B&Q, a subsidiary of Europe's biggest home improvements
retailer Kingfisher, was placed into examinership, a
process akin to Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the United
States and administration in Britain, it said in a statement.
The chain will continue to operate its nine stores and its
suppliers and 690 employees will continue to be paid, the
company said. It said at least two stores will likely close.
"Losses in the Irish market can no longer be sustained by
the company, and it is hoped that a restructuring via
examinership will provide for the potential for survival of some
part of the business," the statement said.
B&Q's Irish rival Atlantic Home Care, a subsidiary of
Grafton Group, entered examinership last year after
the collapse of the country's housing boom caused its revenue to
fall by almost half.