Wednesday, 20 June, 2018

Potential Poundworld buyer 'walks away from deal'

Poundworld has branches in Shrewsbury and Telford Poundworld has branches in Shrewsbury and Telford
Jean Garcia | 11 June, 2018, 16:11

Poundworld, which has stores in Forster Square, Darley Street, Ivegate and Woodhall Retail Park, employs around 5,300 people in the United Kingdom, is low on cash and is filing the notice because it will give the business protection from its creditors for two weeks.

If these talks fail, however, administration or a company voluntary arrangement (CVA), at best, would be the likely outcome, neither of which would be good news for the retailer's 5,000 plus staff.

The notice will give Poundworld time to structure a deal, which could be undertaken through a pre-pack administration, with private equity firm R Capital, former owner of Little Chef.

The company's management have said they are in talks with other potential buyers, and it is thought that Poundworld's founder, Chris Edwards, might take on the business.

The stores suffered a major rise in multi-million pound losses past year - rising from £5.4m to £17.1m in 2016/17.

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Up until Wednesday night, it had been in talks with Alteri Investors, a group which specialises in turning around struggling businesses.

TPG opted to put Poundworld up for sale last month rather than funding it through a restructuring programme that will involve the loss of about 1,500 jobs.

House of Fraser (HoF) is expected to be the latest retailer to turn to a CVA in the coming days amid pressure from its bank lenders on its Chinese shareholder to pump fresh capital into the business.

About 100 of Poundworld's outlets were already under threat of closure.

Retailers Maplins, Toys "R" Us, Mothercare, Carpetright, plus a string of restaurant chains, have hit the headlines this year because of trading trouble.

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