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Flying Brands close to completing sale of Gardening Direct

Flying Brands has announced that it is close to disposing of Gardening Direct as it discusses the potential sale of the business with a number of prospective purchasers.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Flying Brands close to completing sale of Gardening Direct

Flying Brands has announced that it is close to disposing of Gardening Direct as it discusses the potential sale of the business with a number of prospective purchasers.

The group said in a statement issued today that it hopes to complete the sale of the business by June.

In its annual results also issued today, Flying Brands said it had made a pre-tax loss of £3.2 million in the year to 30 December. The group said a downturn in trading meant that it could no longer service its level of borrowings. As a result it had embarked on a restructuring programme to reduce costs "significantly" by the end of the first half of 2012.

Cost saving measures include the outsourcing of its call centre activity to enable the closure of the group's head office in Chelmsford and vacation of the premises in June.

In addition,  the group has secured an overdraft facility of £0.25m with Barclays Bank to provide additional short-term working capital to operate Gardening Direct until the business is sold.

Chairman Tim Trotter said: "We expect to be in a position to update shareholders on the progress of the discussions for the sale of Gardening Direct before the end of June 2012 and it is our intention at that time to update shareholders on the future of the Company as a whole." 

Earlier this month Flying Brands obtained shareholder approval for the sale of its gifts division to Interflora for £2.4 million.

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