The Henderson family has called for an investigation after the deal to acquire “best remaining” stores collapses.
Poundworld, which had 335 stores in Britain, went into administration in June after posting losses last year of £17m. The Henderson family, who are from Dublin, announced earlier this month that they had struck an agreement with Deloitte, Poundworld’s administrators, to acquire the firm’s “best and remaining” stores.
Ray Henderson founded Poundworld, an Irish company, in 1987 before the family sold it in 2007. That company had no relationship with the UK Poundworld operation. His son, David, now leads the family’s business interests. They did not disclose details of the deal, but it was believed that the family were poised to acquire 34 shops. However, the Henderson family has confirmed that the deal collapsed earlier this week.
The Hendersons have issued a statement which says: “The family is preparing a letter of complaint to the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales into the conduct of Deloitte UK during the negotiations for the purchase of the Poundworld UK company. The family is also requesting the Institute to carry out an independent investigation into this issue. It is also reviewing a number of legal options that can be pursued.”
The family declined to give further details on what caused the deal to collapse, but according to a report in The Times, it is understood that there was an issue around how many of the Poundworld stores the Hendersons could buy.
Deloitte commented: “We had an agreement in principle (with the Hendersons), but the sale didn’t go through. Following the closure of all stores, the administrators are actively seeking offers for the sale of the Poundworld brand and related intellectual property.”
Deloitte has so far declined to comment on the Hendersons’ complaint about the company’s conduct.