Poundworld has entered administration, putting more than 5,000 jobs at risk, after rescue talks failed over the weekend.
Deloitte, which was appointed as administrator on Friday, said Poundworld would trade as usual while it sought a buyer for all or part of the business, adding that no redundancies or store closures were planned. It also said Poundworld had struggled in an increasingly competitive market for discount goods, but also blamed “high product-cost inflation, decreasing footfall [and] weaker consumer confidence”.
Two potential rescue buyouts have fallen through, with the private equity firms Rcapital and Alteri Partners both walking away after talks with Poundworld’s owners, TPG Capital, a US private equity firm.
Chris Edwards, who founded the business in Wakefield, Yorkshire, in 1974 before selling it to TPG for £150m, is also thought to have been interested in buying back the business.
Christopher Edwards said he felt “sad and emotional” about the firm’s troubles, and had been negotiating to buy stores for the past six weeks. But he admitted he could not afford to do so alone and was looking for outside investors to back him.
If a deal is struck, he said, he will look to renegotiate Poundworld’s debts but admitted that getting the business back on track would be a “task and a half”.
“I will know within two weeks if I can save the business,” he told Radio 5 Live. “And if no buyer is found by then, the firm will go to the wall.”