Xtra-vision out of examinership, plans digital strategy

29 Jul 2011

Video entertainment chain Xtra-vision emerged from examinership today after parent company Birchhall Investments committed to invest €8m in the business. The company’s plans to invest capex in an online digital content delivery system are at an advanced stage.

In the High Court this morning, Mr Justice Bryan McGovern approved the Scheme of Arrangement allowing Xtra-vision Limited to end its period of examinership which it entered on 29 April 2011. McGovern’s order takes effect on 4 August 2011

Xtra-vision now operates 163 stores throughout Ireland and employs 1,200 staff.  In the course of the examinership, the company closed non-trading and loss making stores.

Birchhall Investments Limited has committed to providing new investment of up to €8m for the business.

Plans to invest in digital delivery

Xtra-vision says it is well positioned to pursue opportunities for digital delivery of entertainment content.

Its large centralised addressable customer database and the IT systems to manage a high volume of transactions are now in place.

Xtra-vision plans to build on these assets to offer its consumers access to content digitally. Plans are at an advanced stage and the company expects to announce new services later this year.

“In addition, the consultation period for the proposed regulatory change to Copyright law to reduce the extent of digital theft in Ireland ends today. Xtra-vision’s expects that the minister will act speedily to make the necessary changes to end the days of digital banditry in the Republic of Ireland,” the company stated.

It said the additional investment and cost-reduction measures mean the company will continue an extensive capex programme that has been under way since its acquisition in 2009.

This will be focused on opening a number of additional stores, and on further development of IT systems required to launch new online and digital services for customers.

The recent large investment in a new integrated real-time ePOS system with a substantial centralised customer database is the cornerstone of all further developments.

Xtra-vision thanked its past and current employees, its customers and its suppliers for their support during the examinership process.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years