Wilko redundancies on hold amid bidding row

Redundancies at homeware chain Wilko have been put on hold as a bidder criticised whether the administrator was being fair.

PriceWaterhouseCoopers had said last week that redundancies could begin this week. However this has been suspended while it considered bids.

Private equity company M2 Capital has written to Bob Moritz, PriceWaterhouseCoopers chair complaining about the bidding process, claiming it had to to submit its final offer and proof of financing on Bank Holiday Monday without having access to examine Wilko’s finances.

M2 Capital has said its £90m offer would mean no job losses among Wilko’s 12,000 staff for two years.

Robert Mantse, M2 Capital chairman accused PriceWaterhouseCoopers of repeatedly ‘adding additional criteria to try to force M2C to not continue in the bidding process.’

PriceWaterhouseCoopers refuted his claims.

‘We are running a fair and transparent sales process, and remain focused on our duty to secure the best outcome for all creditors, while preserving as many jobs as possible. We are actively engaging with all interested parties, assessing the deliverability of all bids made and requesting necessary information. It would be inappropriate to comment on individual bidders or interested parties at this stage in the process,’ it says.

It is understood that bidders have had to agree a non-disclosure agreement.

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