BHS faces liquidation as rescue bids fail

Fri, 03 Jun 2016 | BUSINESS SALE

BHS faces going into liquidation after administrators Duff & Phelps said it had “not been possible” to agree a sale with the leading potential buyer.

The administrators were expected to announce that a deal had been sealed with a consortium led by Greg Tufnell, a UK retail veteran. However, representatives at Duff & Phelps said it had “not been possible” to reach an agreement with Mr Tufnell’s consortium because the prospective buyer failed to prove that it had the “working capital” to successfully complete the deal.

A statement by Duff & Phelps was issued to the media regarding the shock announcement: "Despite the considerable efforts of the administrators and BHS senior management, it has not been possible to agree a sale of the business.

“Although multiple offers were received, none were able to complete a deal due to the working capital required to secure the future of the company.”

Now the 88-year old high street chain has been placed in the hands of three liquidation companies — Alteri, Hilco and Gordon Brothers — as they look to sell off assets from the company’s 163 UK stores. The closure of BHS will also result in the loss of around 11,000 jobs. The retail chain’s demise will represent the biggest high street failure since Woolworths collapsed in 2008.

John Hannett, a representative of the retail union Usdaw, spoke to the BBC about the situation at BHS: "There are serious questions about the pension deficit, serious questions about why [Duff & Phelps] were not able to find a successful business owner when we know a number [of potential buyers] expressed an interest. So we need to unravel how we got to this situation.”

For more information, see the latest businesses in liquidation.


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