Deadline set for Wilko offers

Bidders for homewares chain Wilko have been given a deadline of today for final offers, with it likely to be broken up or drastically slimmed down.

Adminstrator PriceWaterhouseCoopers has told bidders offers must be made by this evening.

It came as Doug Putman, HMV owner emerged as a potential buyer: but even his plan would see about half of the chain’s 400 stores close.

The Times reported that Putman had held talks with PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Wilko management, but that Mark Jackson, Wilko chief executive had told senior staff that the Putman deal is unlikely to happen.

‘There have been long, long meetings, so he’s been working round the clock by the looks of things,’ the newspaper quoted a Wilko head office source.

It also reported that Hilco, which loaned the chain £40m, had told PriceWaterhouseCoopers that putting the chain into liquidation and selling the stock and various parts of the chain to other retailers would raise more money for creditors than a sale to Putman.

Putman’s Sunrise Records bought HMV in 2019 and restored it to profit. The music retailer now has almost 120 stores.

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