B&M agrees to purchase more than 50 Wilko stores for £13m

Discount retail chain B&M European Value Retail said is fully funded from existing cash reserves.

Discount retail giant B&M has agreed to acquire up to 51 Wilko stores from administrators for £13m, it has been announced, after a bid to purchase the entirety of the collapsed high street retailer fell through last week.

Wilko fell into administration last month, with insolvency experts from PwC spending recent weeks seeking out a rescue deal for the high street retailer.

Administrators have held talks with a raft of suitors, including HMV owner Doug Putman, in order to save Wilko’s 400 stores and 12,500 jobs.

On Tuesday, B&M European Value Retail said it has agreed to acquire up to 51 Wilko sites from the administrators in a deal worth up to £13m.

In a statement, B&M added: “The consideration is fully funded from existing cash reserves and the acquisition is not expected to be conditional on any regulatory clearances.

“An update on the timing of these new store openings will be provided in the H1 interim results announcement on November 9.”

The B&M group runs around 1,150 stores in the UK and France under the B&M and Heron brands.

It is understood that the majority of the new stores are expected to rebrand as B&M.

PwC remains in further talks regarding Wilko’s remaining stores, brand and other assets.

It is understood that Mr Putman, who rescued HMV out of insolvency in 2019, is still in talks with administrators over a deal.

The announcement comes after the first round of potentially thousands of layoffs at the failed retailer were expected to start on Monday.

Administrators confirmed last week that 269 people in the company’s Worksop support centre would be having their last day with the business.

Redundancies at the company’s Worksop and Newport warehouses are also due to start early this week.

The administrators did not confirm how many warehouse staff would lose their jobs, but around 1,296 people are thought to work there.

The GMB union said last week it had asked for redundancies to start with volunteers.

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