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Jobs at risk as Poundworld talks fail

Poundworld website July 2018 725 x 500

The founder of Poundworld, Chris Edwards, has confirmed that his discussions with administrator Deloitte to save the business have been unsuccessful.

The business was founded in 1974 by Mr Edwards and was sold for £150m in 2015 to TPG Capital. 

Poundworld fell into administration in June and its American owners have been working with Deloitte to secure a buyer for the business and save up to 5,000 jobs.

Chris Edwards has told the press that he had put forward a bid which would have saved 186 stores and 3,000 jobs, but has since pulled out of the running, stating that Deloitte failed to give his offer the “respect it deserved” and was handling the administration process “badly”.

Discussions with Rcapital and Alteri Investors have also failed to come to fruition, with Deloitte insisting that it had not received “a credible and acceptable bid with accompanying confirmation of funding”.

Edwards said of his offer: “Although it was close to what the administrator wants, we’ve now had written confirmation that it’s not high enough, which I’m shocked and surprised at, considering we were going to save 3,000 jobs.”

“You have to consider the moral argument in this and the fact that people’s livelihoods are on the line and clearly to some people it appears that doesn’t matter. Instead it seems that selling off all the stock and closing the stores is a better option.

“The amount of extra money the administrator is holding out for is a drop in the ocean when you consider how much money will be needed to stabilise the business and replenish stock levels, which is where the real costs will be incurred, and that’s why we can’t increase our offer.”

Deloitte’s joint administrator, Clare Boardman, said: “The retail trading environment in the UK remains extremely challenging and Poundworld has been seeking to address this through a restructure of its business.

“Unfortunately, this has not been possible. We still believe a buyer can be found for the business, or at least part of it, and we are keeping staff appraised of developments as they happen. We thank all employees for their support at this difficult time.”

Source : Insight DIY Team 

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09 July 2018

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