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HMV boss cites greed as the reason for Wilko rescue deal collapse

Wilko store closed

HMV owner Doug Putman claims greed thwarted his attempt to rescue Wilko, which could have saved thousands of jobs.

The collapse of the deal left 12,000 workers at Wilko facing redundancy in August. 

But the Canadian billionaire claims certain firms, including landlords, displayed a "super inflexible" attitude, rendering the deal "literally impossible."

Read More: Wilko Stores Set For High Street Comeback Before Christmas

Putman successfully rescued HMV UK in 2019.

He criticised exorbitant charges for access to Wilko's IT system during the transition period.

He said: "But for those four months, the amount of money that the companies want to charge made the Wilko deal literally impossible to do and that was something that was found out really late in the game.

"One of the landlords where the servers were stored, I think the facility was a million square feet and the servers were in this tiny little room and they wanted rent on the whole million square feet for us to be able to keep the servers.

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"So I would say everyone just got a little bit greedy and unfortunately weren't thinking about the 10,000-plus jobs that would have been saved and were only thinking about their little piece of it."

The Business and Trade Committee plans to question Wilko's former chair, Lisa Wilkinson.

It wants to investigate the decision to take millions in dividends from Wilko.

Ms Wilkinson and former Wilko CEO Mark Jackson will also be questioned about what efforts were made to rescue the retailer.

The committee also plans to investigate whether critical advice was ignored.

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