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Troubled retailer McColl's collapses into administration, 16,000 workers at risk

CONVENIENCE chain McColl’s confirmed today it will collapse into administration, putting 1,100 shops and 16,000 workers at risk.

The troubled retailer held talks with its lenders this morning in the hope they could extend their loan agreements.

Supermarket giant Morrisons, which is a major wholesale partner, also tabled a last-ditch effort to buy the business, which it said would have kept the vast majority of jobs and stores safe.

However, the company confirmed “the lenders made clear that they were not satisfied that such discussions would reach an outcome acceptable to them.”

It said the company will now appoint administrators from PwC in an effort to “preserve the future of the business and to protect the interests of employees.”

The company said it hoped the administrators would help to “implement a sale of the business to a third-party purchaser as soon as possible.”

Earlier today, Morrisons tabled a rescue deal which would have taken on the business as a going concern, absorbed its debts of over £100 million and taken responsibility for the company’s pension scheme.

The two businesses are major partners, with McColl’s operating hundreds of convenience shops under the Morrisons Daily brand.

Morrisons, which was bought by a US private equity firm last year, said the administration was a disappointing outcome.

A spokeswoman said: “We put forward a proposal that would have avoided today’s announcement that McColl’s is being put into administration, kept the vast majority of jobs and stores safe, as well as fully protecting pensioners and lenders.

“For thousands of hard-working people and pensioners, this is a very disappointing, damaging and unnecessary outcome.”

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