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Blacktie set to seek liquidator

DRAGONS' Den star Niall O'Farrell said that he regrets having to appoint a liquidator to his tuxedo-hire chain Blacktie.

The company's founder and owner issued a statement revealing that he had personally informed all staff members across Blacktie's 11 shops about the latest move.

Blacktie has confirmed that it's going to seek liquidation at a meeting next week in Templeogue and it is expected that a liquidator will be appointed on Friday February 1.

The company closed its Cork branch late last year. The remaining shops in Dublin, Limerick and Waterford will trade as normal pending the appointment of a liquidator.

Mr O'Farrell -- who also owns the Henry Jermyn shirt retailer -- said that he was devastated at the decision which was reached after consultation with the firm's banks.

"I spent most of my career establishing and developing Blacktie, and have done all I could to bolster its prospects," he said. He said that the decision was made "due to a combination of market and economic factors; including a decline in the formalwear rental market, increased lower cost retailers from the high street, higher utility and branch operating costs and unaffordable high levels of rates".

Mr O'Farrell said that he has not taken a salary for four years and had invested "substantial" personal resources, he said.