Wilko: Redundancies suspended at troubled retailer as administrators consider last minute rescue bids

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The collapse of Wilko could see 12,500 job losses and the closure of more than 400 high street stores.

Wilko has suspended redundancies while last minute rescue bids for the retailer are considered. On Tuesday (August 29) the GMB union met with PwC, which is overseeing the sale of the retailer, after calling for an urgent meeting with the business secretary.

The high street chain recently collapsed into administration which has put 12,500 jobs at risk. About 400 shops across the UK are also at risk of closure.

GMB national secretary, Andy Prendergast said: “All redundancies at Wilko have been suspended while the administrator considers further bids. Whilst this is a positive development, Wilko is not out of the woods by any means and this is a time of incredible stress and worry for the 12,500 workers who face losing their jobs.”

The news comes after a bid worth £90 million has been made by restructuring specialist M2 Capital, according to the Guardian, which could potentially keep the entire Wilko chain trading. Canadian businessman Doug Putman, who bought music retailer HMV in 2019, also lodged a bid intended to preserve the majority of Wilko’s stores, with rivals B&M and Poundland also reportedly interested.

On Monday, the GMB union wrote to business secretary Kemi Badenoch, suggesting that bidders had reported "difficulties" engaging with PwC, the administrators.

But PwC said it was working "relentlessly" to secure a sale of the retailer and "talks are continuing with a number of parties".

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