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Wilko Faces Staff Layoffs After M2 Capital’s Bid Fails

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Wilko's administrators are set to start layoffs across its head office, distribution, and support centres in the coming days, following the unsuccessful bid by M2 Capital.

M2 Capital had proposed a last-minute offer to acquire the entire Wilko business, encompassing its 400 outlets.

However, the bid didn't meet the due diligence standards set by PwC.

PwC confirmed the decision to lay off 269 staff members from Wilko's support centre in Worksop.

This is effective from the end of business hours on 4th September.

Additional layoffs from the distribution hubs in Worksop and Newport will be disclosed soon.

Reports from Sky News indicate around 1,300 jobs are potentially at risk.

14 staff members from Kin Limited, a Wilko subsidiary, have been laid off after the business received no feasible offers.

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Jane Steer, the joint administrator, expressed her sorrow over the redundancies.

She praised the affected employees for their unwavering commitment during challenging times.

She said the priority is to assist the affected employees in processing their claims promptly.

Steer confirmed staff they would receive the necessary support for a swift return to employment.

There is ongoing speculation regarding the potential acceptance of an offer from HMV owner, Doug Putman.

This would involve him acquiring a majority of Wilko's outlets and its brand.

Takeover concerns

The administrators had reservations about M2 Capital's £90m bid on behalf of an undisclosed UK billionaire.

It demanded proof of funds by a specific deadline.

Robert Mantse, M2's chairman, voiced concerns over PwC's alleged obstruction of his bid.

He claimed the bids were not being adequately evaluated.

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Email exchanges between Mantse and PwC, as reported by The Times, revealed Mantse's desire to access Wilko's confidential data without verifying his funding capabilities.

An insider commented on the unusual nature of the discussions, noting Mantse's inability to address standard queries.

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