Wilko: Redundancies put on hold while final offers considered

30th August 2023 | Jack Oliver

Potential job losses have been put on hold at Wilko as administrators consider a number of final rescue bids for the retailer.

Following a meeting with Wilko’s administrators PwC on Tuesday, the GMB Union said that it had received assurances that the redundancy process for staff would be halted while a number of offers are still ongoing.

Interested parties include private equity firm M2 Capital, which said it had made a £90m bid for the business and pledged to retain all staff members’ jobs for two years.

A number of other parties are also looking to snap up all or parts of Wilko’s estate, including HMV owner Doug Putman, Poundland owner Pepco, B&M, and The Original Factory Shop.

This comes after GMB Union called for a meeting with the business secretary after it claimed that some prospective bidders for the company were facing “difficulties” with its administrator PwC.

In a letter to Kemi Badenoch, the union’s national secretary Andy Prendergast called for reassurance that all steps will be taken to protect jobs as part of the administration process.

The union also said it was troubled by the influence of Hilco, the private equity firm which had previously loaned Wilko £40m.

The letter, which was sent to the business secretary on Monday, claimed that GMB had been contacted by a number of potential bidders which said they “appear to have the necessary funding and the willingness to […] safeguard [GMB] members’ jobs”.

PwC said it had been working “relentlessly” to secure a sale of the retailer, and that talks are ongoing with interested parties. A spokesperson added that the firm was “intent on achieving the best outcome for everyone involved”.

The retailer 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.

Last week, PwC told the GMB Union that there was “no longer any prospect that the majority of the business will be saved”.


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