The owners of Petmania, a family-owned chain of 15 pet stores, will seek the appointment of an examiner to the business in the High Court tomorrow morning.
The court will consider a petition to put three related companies into examinership in a bid to restructure their finances.
The companies are Petmania, furniture retailer Meubles (Ireland) and O’Keeffes of Kilkenny, which runs a garden centre in the city. The group was founded by the O’Keeffe family in the 1970s.
The Petmania business started in 2005 in a section of the family’s garden centre, but expanded quickly in the following years. It has about 250 staff.
In an interview with The Sunday Business Post a year ago, Petmania managing director Shane O’Keeffe, a nephew of the founders, said that the group hoped to have 20 pet shops around the country by 2012.
Petmania made a loss of almost €645,000 in the 12 months to the end of May 2009, which it said was ‘‘as expected, given the building of its new store network’’.
It had a deficit of €731,000 on its balance sheet and owed €6.2 million to its parent, O’Keeffes of Kilkenny, at the end of the financial year.
The latest accounts for the parent company show it had accumulated profits of €3.5 million in May 2009, but had outstanding bank loans of €3.8 million and also owed €4.2 million to its directors.
Sad to see a long-established business like Meubles being brought down by a foray into another unrelated business.
The old adage of "Stick to the knitting" is very important today.