Monday 24 September 2018

Poundworld founder’s rescue bid rejected by administrators

Chris Edwards was in talks with administrators to save around 3,000 jobs.

Poundworld went into administration in June (PA)
Poundworld went into administration in June (PA)

By Helen Cahill, Press Association City Reporter

Poundworld’s administrators have rejected a rescue bid for the business from its founder, Chris Edwards, who was seeking to buy stores and save around 3,000 jobs.

Mr Edwards was trying to pick up around 180 outlets but has been informed his offer was not high enough, sources told the Press Association.

Poundworld, which was formerly owned by TPG Capital, collapsed into administration on June 11, putting around 5,100 jobs at risk.

The budget retail chain is one of a number of retailers to call in administrators this year, with both Toys R Us and Maplin disappearing from UK high streets.

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. Chris Edwards

Mr Edwards, who founded Poundworld in 1974, said that he was “shocked and surprised” to be rejected by the joint administrators at Deloitte.

However, Deloitte has said no party has put a credible offer on the table.

As part of the process, Deloitte must first seek to sell the business as a going concern and, failing that, must achieve a better deal for creditors than they would secure by selling off Poundworld’s property.

Mr Edwards said: “I’ve made a substantial and credible offer, which is the best offer we can put forward, but in my opinion, it hasn’t been given the respect it deserves.

“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.”

Poundworld has kick-started its closing down sales, although the administrators are still talking to a number of potential bidders.

Joint administrators Daniel Butters and Clare Boardman have already made 100 people redundant at Poundworld’s head office in Normanton, West Yorkshire.

In June, TPG said putting the business into administration was a “difficult decision”, and that the retailer was affected by a decline in the UK retail sector.

Press Association

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