High Street

Poundworld founder urges ‘moral argument’ after administrators reject rescue bid

A rescue bid offer made by Poundworld founder Chris Edwards has been been rejected by appointed administrators Deloitte, who say it is not high enough.

On 3 July a Deloitte spokesperson said the group was continuing “to seek a buyer of all or parts of the business”, but added to date no party has presented a “credible and acceptable bid”. Edwards said he had made “a substantial and credible offer”, which “hasn’t been given the respect it deserves”.

The administrators recently hit back at accusations made by Edwards over the handling of the company’s administration. The former Poundworld boss said “the whole administration process has been handled badly” and he added if something doesn’t happen in the next few days, “the business will go to the wall”.

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Edwards, who originally sold the business in 2015 for £150m, said the “process has taken so long” that shops “are now holding closing-down sales and selling stock that isn’t being replenished”. He added that the task of saving the business has become more difficult as a result and has put “another nail in the coffin”.

Commenting on the rejection of the rescue bid, Edwards said: “Although it was close to what the administrator wants, we’ve now had written confirmation that it’s not high enough, which I’m shocked and surprised at, considering we were going to save 3000 jobs.

“You have to consider the moral argument in this and the fact that people’s livelihoods are on the line and clearly to some people it appears that doesn’t matter.”

Retail Sector has approached Deloitte for comment.

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