Belfast Telegraph

Banks pledge commitment to Arnotts

State-owned Anglo Irish Bank and Ulster Bank have pledged their commitment to Arnotts after the European Commission approved their take control bid.

A new management team appointed to head the debt-ridden retailer also maintained the iconic Dublin city centre store would continue to play a leading role in Irish retail.

In a statement, both banks said they are committed to Arnotts, which employs 950 workers, but will not be involved in the management of the company.

Instead, retail specialist Mark Schwartz - CEO of PalladinCapital Group who has worked with the company and bank over the last five months - is expected to oversee the running of the business.

Mr Schwartz reassured staff, suppliers and customers that the great institution will continue to play a leading role in the Irish retail market.

"Arnotts is a tremendous business and we need to continue to enhance the shopping experience for our long-standing customers," he said.

"Our goal is to focus on the future, work closely with our strong staff and our suppliers, and create the conditions which will enable Arnotts to thrive for many years to come."

The historic store, which first opened its doors in 1843, is understood to be experiencing steady trade.

But a proposed 800 million euro redevelopment near the site of the original Henry Street premises left the firm saddled with huge debts of about 300 million euro.

The planned Northern Quarter was set to include a shopping, residential and entertainment district.


From Belfast Telegraph