Monday, 18 June, 2018

Poundworld faces collapse after rescue talks fail

Takeover talks fell through at the weekend Takeover talks fell through at the weekend
Preston Stone | 11 June, 2018, 20:31

Poundworld has called in administrators, making it the latest casualty in a retail bloodbath on Britain's high streets.

Talks broke down over the weekend as Poundworld tried to broker a rescue deal with private equity firm R Capital.

Clare Boardman, joint administrator of Poundworld, said that the chain had been affected by the "challenging" retail environment.

Talks with a potential buyer R Capital have collapsed meaning that the owner TPG felt it had no option but to put the company into administration.

'Unfortunately, this has not been possible.

"Like many high street retailers, Poundworld has suffered from high product cost inflation, decreasing footfall, weaker consumer confidence and an increasingly competitive discount retail market."

It also operates the Bargain Buys chain which has a store in Gravesend.

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But its losses widened to £17.1 million for the financial year ending March 31, 2017 versus a £5.4 million deficit from the previous 12 month period.

Deloitte said Poundworld would trade as usual while it seeks a buyer for all or part of the business, adding that no redundancies or store closures are yet planned.

A TPG Capital spokesman said: "This was a hard decision for every party involved".

There remains some optimism that a proportion of the chain's 5,300 staff will avoid losing their jobs if buyers can be found for parts of Poundworld's business during the administration process.

"We invested in Poundworld because of our belief in how the company serves its customers and the strength of its employees".

Some other British retailers are closing stores including Marks & Spencer, fashion retailer New Look, floor coverings group Carpetright, mother and baby goods retailer Mothercare and department store House of Fraser.

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