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BHS enters administration

BHS has entered into administration after last minute talks regarding a potential restructuring of the business failed. The move has put 164 shops and almost 11,000 jobs at risk.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

BHS enters administration

BHS has entered into administration after last minute talks regarding a potential restructuring of the business failed. The move has put 164 shops and almost 11,000 jobs at risk.

Duff & Phelps have been appointed as administrators to the chain and will aim to keep it trading as normal while seeking a buyer for the business.

In a statement, Duff & Phelps said: "The group has been undergoing restructuring and, as has been widely reported, the shareholders have been in negotiations to find a buyer for the business. These negotiations have been unsuccessful.

"In addition property sales have not materialised as expected in both number and value. Consequently, as a result of a lower than expected cash balance, the group is very unlikely to meet all contractual payments. The directors therefore have no alternative but to put the group into administration to protect it for all creditors. The group will continue to trade as usual while the administrators seek to sell it as a going concern."

In the House of Commons yesterday, business minister minister Anna Soubry said there were no immediate plans to make any redundancies. She told MPS: “The clear message is that BHS is still open for business as usual. There are no plans for immediate redundancies or store closures.”

John Hannett, general secretary of shopworkers union Usdaw, urged BHS to begin a dialogue with the trade unions.

He added: “We don’t want to see BHS staff locked out of discussions, sent to the back of the queue of creditors and treated like fixtures and fittings, as happened at Woolworth’s. The Government needs to intervene now to protect taxpayers from picking up the bill for redundancy payments and safeguard the Pension Protection Fund.”

 

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