Wilko on the brink of collapse with administrators to be called in putting 12,000 jobs and 400 stores at risk
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High street retailer Wilko is on the brink of collapse, putting 12,000 jobs and 400 stores at risk. The privately-owned firm, which sells everything from stationery to hardware items, has filed notice of its intention to appoint administrators at the High Court.
The value retail giant’s notice of intention to appoint administrators now gives it a 10-day window to secure a deal while protected from action by other creditors. Wilko started from a single hardware store in 1930. It secured a £40million lifeline from Hilco UK, the owner of Homebase, at the beginning of this year.
Wilko chief executive officer Mark Jackson said: “While we can confirm we’ve had a significant level of interest, including indicative offers that we believe would meet all our financial criteria to recapitalise the business, at present, we don’t today have an offer that provides the necessary liquidity in the time we have available, given the mounting cash pressures we’re faced with.
“Unfortunately, with this in mind, today we’re having to take the difficult decision to file a notice of intention. ‘We’ll continue to progress discussions with interested parties with the aim of completing a transaction which preserves the business and will encourage those interested parties we’re in discussions with to move as fast as possible.
“We continue to believe that our robust turnaround plan, with significant re-stabilisation cost savings in progress, will deliver a profitable Wilko and maximise the significant opportunities that we know exist.”
The retailer is being advised by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), while property agents CBRE had been brought on board to negotiate with landlords.