Brooks granted bankruptcy protection

Published:  12 March, 2012

DUBLIN: The High Court has granted bankruptcy protection to Ireland's largest timber distributor and second largest builders merchant – Brooks.

Kieran Wallace of KPMG has been appointed "interim examiner" of the debt-laden BHT Group, which comprises Brooks, Heat Merchants and Tubs and Tiles.

Redundancies, pay cuts and branch closures are being considered as part of a plan to save the business.

BHT Group directors said the construction and DIY trades had proved difficult in 2011 and at the start of 2012 debts totalled €53m. The group recorded a loss of €85.2m in 2009, followed by a loss of €6.1m in 2010, reducing to €400 000 last year. Brooks' losses reduced in the second half of 2011 to €500 000 from a turnover of about €56m.

The examiner has 100 days to formulate a scheme of arrangement on the group's future. Until then the business will trade normally. Brooks has 13 branches.

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