Boxclever arm cuts 600 jobs as sale of rental group looms

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The Independent Online

Endeva, the distribution and servicing arm of the troubled British television rental company Boxclever, will make 600 workers redundant as part of a restructuring plan, receivers said yesterday.

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), which is acting as administrative receiver for Endeva, said in a statement that the restructuring plan would focus the company on serving its principal customer, Boxclever, with third-party contracts to be terminated.

PwC said the group's administration, operations, finance and call centre functions will be merged into a single location over the next 12 months. It said the majority of Endeva's retail outlets would be disposed of, as the company concentrates on telephone and internet businesses.

Meanwhile, Boxclever's owner, the German bank WestLB, is expected to put the company's businesses up for sale, possibly as early as this week. The sale is also expected to include Endeva, which was put into administrative receivership in September. Boxclever's management is expected to place a bid for the Boxclever units and is working with a private equity firm to explore a possible deal. Alchemy Partners was reportedly interested in the business earlier this autumn.

The state-owned German bank, which led a £748m securitisation financing for Boxclever in 2002, hired PwC in September to manage the receivership and smooth the way for an eventual sale of Boxclever. Write-offs on the deal were in part responsible for WestLB posting a €1.7bn loss for 2002.