High street retailer Wilko set for administration with 12,000 jobs at risk

Wilko, which has about 400 shops, filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators at the High Court on Thursday

Henry Saker-Clark
Thursday 03 August 2023 13:13 BST
Wilko has filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators (Wilko/PA)
Wilko has filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators (Wilko/PA)

Wilko has said it plans to appoint administrators, putting about 12,000 jobs at the high street retailer at risk.

The boss of the homeware and hardware chain said it is expected to enter insolvency after failing to secure a takeover to help the business with “mounting cash pressures”.

Wilko, which has about 400 shops, filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators at the High Court on Thursday.

Earlier this year the company hired advisers from PwC in a bid to find to a buyer in order to secure fresh funding to keep the firm trading.

Wilko has filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators (Wilko/PA)
Wilko has filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators (Wilko/PA)

Last year, the retailer agreed a deal to borrow £40 million from restructuring specialist Hilco after posting significant losses.

The company said it had “no choice” but to file for the potential insolvency but will continue a possible rescue takeover.

It comes a week after official figures showed insolvencies in England and Wales surged to their highest level for 14 years in the second quarter of 2023 as firms were hit by tighter consumer budgets and rising borrowing costs.

We’ll continue to progress discussions with interested parties with the aim of completing a transaction which preserves the business

Mark Jackson, Wilko chief executive

Wilko chief executive Mark Jackson said: “While we can confirm we’ve had a significant level of interest, including indicative offers that we believe would meet all our financial criteria to recapitalise the business, at present we don’t today have an offer that provides the necessary liquidity in the time we have available, given the mounting cash pressures we’re faced with.

“Unfortunately, with this in mind, today we’re having to take the difficult decision to file a notice of intention.

“We’ll continue to progress discussions with interested parties with the aim of completing a transaction which preserves the business and will encourage those interested parties we’re in discussions with to move as fast as possible.

“We continue to believe that our robust turnaround plan, with significant re-stabilisation cost savings in progress, will deliver a profitable Wilko and maximise the significant opportunities that we know exist.”

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