Sunday 24 September 2017

Budgens forced to close 34 stores in UK

More than 800 jobs have been lost after the owner of 34 Budgens stores collapsed into administration. Photo: PA
More than 800 jobs have been lost after the owner of 34 Budgens stores collapsed into administration. Photo: PA
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

A NUMBER of stores in the British retail chain Budgens - a business that until 2015 was controlled by the Cork-based Musgrave group - have gone into administration with the loss of about 800 jobs.

Musgrave, which controls the SuperValu chain here, sold the loss-making Budgens business in 2015 to Bookers.

Last year, the Co-operative Group bought 15 Budgens stores from Bookers and later sold a total of 34 Budgens outlets to Food Retailer Operations.

"Since its acquisition of the stores from Co-op in July 2016, the company had experienced difficult trading conditions," according to administrator PWC.

"This resulted in the company being placed into administration despite sustained efforts to make the business more commercially viable."

Other Budgens stores in the network are not affected.

Budgens stores are individually owned and are supplied by Bookers, which is to be taken over by Tesco.

Musgrave first took an effective 43.5pc stake in Budgens in 2000 - paying €146m to German retailer ReWe - and paid another €275m for the remainder in 2002. Musgrave bought the Londis franchise for the UK in 2004 for £60m, bringing the total spend on the two businesses to £382m.

It sold both the Budgens and Londis businesses in Britain in 2015 for a total of €57m.

Irish Independent

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