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‘Genuine grounds for hope’ over future of Wilko after recent interest, says GMB

by Matt Trinder, Industrial reporter

THERE are “genuine grounds for hope” for the future of stricken retail chain Wilko following interest from potential suitors, the GMB union said today.

The 93-year-old homeware giant tumbled into administration last week, putting the future of its 400 shops and 12,500 workers across Britain at risk.

Administrators from PwC swiftly sought offers from potentially interested firms that could save jobs and stores.

It is understood that bidders were set a deadline of Wednesday to register their interest, but the insolvency process is continuing as administrators consider options for the company and its assets.

GMB, which has met the firm and its administrators as part of the consultation process, indicated that a deal could be struck.

National secretary Andy Prendergast said: “We can confirm there have been expressions of interest from organisations who are considering taking over at least some parts of the business.

“These are still at an early stage, but [it] means there are genuine grounds for hope.

“Whilst this process continues, staff will continue to be paid and kept on. All stores are continuing to trade and deliveries of new stock will continue.”

Due to the administration process, bidders are not expected to take on all the company’s liabilities, such as costly debts, as part of any deal.

Rivals Poundland, B&M, The Range and Home Bargains are reportedly among the firms interested in snapping up Wilko or at least parts of it. 

The family-run firm launched a sale today as it continues to work through existing and new stock.

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