Wilko may have missed out on £40m in warehouse sale

22nd August 2023 | Jack Oliver

Questions have been raised over the sale of Wilko’s distribution centre, with some figures suggesting the retailer may have missed out on up to £40m.

The retailer, which has now fallen into administration, sold the warehouse in a sale-and-leaseback deal to DHL in November.

Wilko fetched £48m for the sale, however the true value of the site is now under scrutiny.

Two months after the deal was completed, the distribution centre was then sold by DHL for £88m to Canadian private equity firm Brookfield Asset Management, which is chaired by the former Bank of England governor Mark Carney.

The Labour MP for Bassetlaw, Lord Mann, said: “That’s too big a change in value over such a short period.”

Gordon Brown, who was Wilko’s managing director from 1992 to 2007, also believed the sale undervalued the property, which cost £35m to construct in 1994 and was later expanded.

A source close to the deal described it as a “fire sale”, as the retailer “desperately” struggled for cash.

The potential £40m Wilko missed out on is identical to the funding it secured earlier this year from Hilco.

This comes come after The Mail on Sunday reported that £77m in dividends had been taken out of the business during the last decade, including in years when the retailer made a loss.


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