B&M to buy up to 51 Wilko stores for 13m
More than 1,300 jobs will be lost due to the collapse of Wilko. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
B&M European Value Retail announced it agreed to take over up to 51 Wilko stores following the collapse of the rival discount chain.
In a regulatory disclosure on Tuesday (5), B&M said it would pay a maximum of £13 million for the acquisition which would be “fully funded from existing cash reserves”.
“The acquisition is not expected to be conditional on any regulatory clearances,” the retail major, which was bought by the billionaire Arora brothers – Simon and Bobby – in 2004, said.
B&M, which runs about 1,150 stores in the UK and France under the B&M and Heron brands, however, did not reveal if any jobs at the Wilko stores it acquired would be affected.
Wilko had 400 stores and employed about 12,500 staff when it collapsed over the summer. Now more than 1,300 extra staff will lose their jobs, Wilko administrators PwC announced.
It said it was working with potential buyers for the remainder of Wilko’s business.
“It has become clear from these discussions that some stores do not form part of any ongoing interest in the Wilko store portfolio. Today the administrators therefore sadly confirm the closure of 52 stores and redundancies of 1,016 staff based at these sites, and a further 299 redundancies at the two distribution centres in Worksop and Newport,” PwC said in a statement.
Customers and businesses continue to face soaring costs, with annual inflation at 6.8 per cent, the highest among G7 countries.
Tuesday’s development came amid media reports that an agreement for the sale of about 300 Wilko stores to Canadian businessman Doug Putman appeared to have run into problems.