(Sharecast News) – A rescue bid to save the Wilko discount retail chain and thousands of jobs has failed, after talks between administrators and HMV owner Doug Putman collapsed.
The deal, which would have secured the future for up to 300 stores at risk of closure, is said to have fallen apart on concerns about the costs of running Wilko’s legacy operations.

Putman said in a statement: “It is with great disappointment that we can no longer continue in the purchase process for Wilko having worked with administrators and suppliers over several weeks to seek a viable way to rescue it as a going concern.”

He confirmed that his firm Putman Investment did have financing in place and had received the full support of administrators PwC, as well as Wilko management and staff representatives.

“However, commitment to overhauling the trading framework of the business with partners and the costs of running Wilko’s legacy operations infrastructure combined has meant that a stable foundation could not be secured to ensure long-term success for the business and its people in the way that we would have wanted,” Putman said.

Discount retail rival B&M announced last week that it is to buy “up to” 51 Wilko stores for £13m.

However, a total of 1,600 redundancies have already been announced across the company in recent weeks, including the closure of 52 shops.

According to Sky News, PwC is now in discussions with Poundland to take over 100 sites. The Range and Home Bargains are also said to be interested in some stores.

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