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Poundland founder prepares Poundworld bid after Chris Edwards pulls out

The founder of Poundland, Steve Smith, is preparing a bid for embattled rival Poundworld after Chris Edwards, the latter’s founder, withdrew his bid for the company.

A Press Association release said Smith was in early-stage talks with Deloitte, however the administrators declined to comment when contacted by Retail Sector.

Smith built up Poundland from a single Burton-On-Trent store in 1990 before going on to sell the business to Advent International for £50m.

Poundworld announced it was to close 117 stores by 31 August following a Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA) which has put 5,000 jobs at risk.

Today, Poundworld founder Edwards confirmed he had received written confirmation that his bid for the company had been rejected. Just yesterday Edwards expressed his disappointment at Deloitte’s handling of his bid. He said in a statement: “I’ve made a substantial and credible offer, which is the best offer we can put forward, but in my opinion, it hasn’t been given the respect it deserves.”

Deloitte hit back at Edwards’ criticism saying it had received no “credible and acceptable bid with accompanying confirmation of funding”. In a statement, it added: “We have provided guidance to indicate how a successful bid might be structured and have provided detailed information to assist bidders in an effort to help them wherever possible.”

Last month confusion was caused at the discount retailer by a staff memo that claimed the store would be having a “closing down sale” despite saying “this does not mean that stores will definitely close”.

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