Job losses to go ahead at Wilko after bid collapses

31st August 2023 | Jack Oliver

Hundreds of jobs at ailing retailer Wilko are set to be lost after a bid for the company fell through.

It emerged on Thursday that private equity firm M2 Capital’s £90m offer for the retailer had fallen through after it was unable to provide proof of funding.

Wilko’s administrators at PwC have now said that there is no viable offer to acquire the whole business.

However, Robert Mantse, chair of M2 Capital, told BBC News that his dealings with PwC had been a “circus” and accused them of being “beyond unfair”.

He added that M2 Capital is now considering legal action.

Redundancies at Wilko had been put on hold while administrators considered M2 Capital’s offer, with the firm pledging to retain all staff members’ jobs for two years.

Further job cuts at Wilko’s distribution centres in Worksop and Newport are now expected to go ahead from next week.

PwC said all of the retailer’s stores are continuing to trade, adding that “discussions continue with those interested in buying parts of the business”.

This includes HMV owner Doug Putman, Poundland owner Pepco, B&M, and The Original Factory Shop, who are reportedly eyeing parts of Wilko’s 400-strong estate.

Wilko fell into administration earlier this month after a difficult post-Pandemic period saw lower footfalls and a decline in consumer spending due to the cost-of-living crisis.

PwC previously said it had been working “relentlessly” to secure a sale of the retailer. A spokesperson added that the firm was “intent on achieving the best outcome for everyone involved”.


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