• Wednesday, June 19, 2024

B&M in talks to buy Wilko’s ‘40-50 stores’

Administrator PwC warns of likely redundancies and store closures

By: Chandrashekar Bhat

B&M European Retail is believed to have evinced interest to take over a few stores of the distressed high-street retail chain Wilko.

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has been appointed as Wilko’s administrator after the Worksop-based company collapsed in early August putting about 12,500 jobs and its 400 stores in the UK at risk.

B&M is negotiating with PwC to take on 40-50 shops, while Pepco is in talks to acquire about 100 stores, Sky News reported.

However, B&M which was bought by the Arora brothers – Simon and Bobby – in 2004, and Pepco have not commented.

Joint administrators Zelf Hussain, Jane Steer and Edward Williams said no firm has come forward to acquire the entire business of Wilko.

They warned of “likely redundancies and store closures”.

“While discussions continue with those interested in buying parts of the business, it’s clear that the nature of this interest is not focused on the whole group,” they said in a statement on Wednesday (23).

“Sadly, it is therefore likely that there will be redundancies and store closures in the future,” the joint administrators said.

They also denied speculation that there are any plans “currently” to “close any stores next week”.

“In the immediate term, all stores remain open, continue to trade and staff continue to be paid”, they said.

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