Posts Tagged ‘administration’
The man who founded Phones 4U in the ’80s – John Caudwell – is not happy about the company going into administration. Of course, he’s alright because he sold the firm for £1.5 billion in 2006, but despite all that dough, he’s annoyed that his old project has collapsed.
Why? He’s “horrified” and “desperately sad” for the nearly 6,000 staff who are going to lose their jobs or, indeed, are having a grim week while job uncertainty hangs over their heads.
Caudwell says: ”They’ve done a great, great job. The business is a very robust, or was a very robust business, trading tremendously well, producing over £100 million of profit a year and it’s a very sad day for everybody.”
There’s going to be some restructuring (from PwC, who have really done very well out of the recession and a number of companies going into administration) and shops may well be opening again, but there’s some outstanding wages to be paid out and that is dependent on accessing the money to pay for the costs of the business.
This all kicked off with major mobile operators ditching the firm and the last straw was EE walking away.
Phones 4U said EE’s decision was a “complete shock”, while everyone else mutters conspiratorially about whether or not the mobile operators were in cahoots in a bid to get their prices up elsewhere. Some think that Phones 4U have been shafted by greedy mobile operators, while others think that Phones 4U were mercilessly greedy themselves and saw this coming a mile off.
The Telegraph have a video interview with John Caudwell if you want to hear his thoughts. Meanwhile, the staff in the Phones 4U store in Manchester left a message for their customers, with the addition of some helpful phone numbers for any worried readers.
The company called in the administrators, and restructuring has already shut 15 venues, as well as cutting several jobs at their head offices, giving 124 staff the heave-ho.
The fate of another 400 jobs is in the balance however, as the firm hope to continue as normal while the restructuring happens.
Rileys was founded in 1878, and made their name with pool and snooker joints, however now also offer darts and bingo as solutions to your leisure time too.
An administrator, who answers to the name of Rob Harding, said: “Following our appointment it has been necessary for us to implement certain cuts immediately. We are now working to stabilise the business whilst we consider our options for securing the best outcome for the company’s creditors.”
The remaining 44 branches will continue business as usual, although for how long, who knows.
Poor Rileys. Looks like they’ve got a tricky snooker to get out of for the second time in less than two years.
EE brought around half of Phones 4U’s sales in and Vodafone had already said that they weren’t renewing their contract and O2 walked away from the retailer in February.
The business has 720 stores and employs over 5,000 people, who will be briefed tomorrow morning by management. BC Parters, Phones 4U’s private equity owner, said it is “intended that employees will continue to be paid until further notice”.
PwC will be appointed as adminstrators.
All the Phones 4U stores will be closed while it is decided whether the administrators can open the doors or not. If you have a mobile contract through Phones 4U, you’ll be thrilled to learn that, at the moment, it doesn’t change anything.
David Kassler, chief executive of Phones 4U, said: “Today is a very sad day for our customers and our staff. If the mobile network operators decline to supply us, we do not have a business. A good company making profits of over £100 million, employing thousands of decent people has been forced into administration.”
“The great service we have provided should have guaranteed a strong future, but unfortunately our network partners have decided otherwise. The ultimate result will be less competition, less choice and higher prices for mobile customers in UK.”
There could be something fishy afoot too. Phones 4U, it has been rumoured, were considering a complaint to industry watchdogs, alleging that the mobile operators were in cahoots to reduce competition and start hiking the prices up for everyone.
Duff & Phelps are the firm who have been tasked with being administrator to Barratts, which has 75 stores and 23 concessions across the UK, employing 1,035 people. This is the third time that Barratts have gone into administration in four years.
“The company had recently received an offer from an investor to inject 5 million pounds ($8.0 million)… but that offer was withdrawn on the evening of November 8,” said Duff & Phelps. ”At this stage redundancies and/or store closures cannot be ruled out,” the added.
The last time Barratts went into administration was December 2011, when they had 191 stores and 371 concessions. Even with the new slimline version of the company, it couldn’t cope.
Looks like they’re going to vanish from the high street forever.
The chain has 150 stores but is on the brink of a whole heap of trouble thanks to the Current Economic Climate, with top administrator Deloitte on the brink of coming in and raking in a load of coin for itself while smashing up the chain and flogging the best bits.
Also on the Deathwatch radar is Modelzone, which has 50 stores and is turning to Ernst& Young to help make the best out of what is left of it. It follows on from the administration of furniture retailer Dwell, which we’ve never heard of.
There was bad news all round for fans of music and lovers of luxurious carpets, as HMV announced more store closures and Axminster went into administration.
The beleaguered entertainment retailer has trimmed its number of stores down again, with a further 37 set to close, with the loss of 464 jobs. They follow on from the previously announced 66 store closures, all of which will leave HMV with just 116 stores.
Meanwhile, 250-year-old Axminster has appointed the administrators in an attempt to provide the company and its creditors with time to explore various rescue options. It says here.
If it goes, it’ll be the end of the line for a great name that we weren’t entirely sure still existed.
We saw this one coming a week or so ago, but news is emerging that fashion chain Republic will go into administration tomorrow, with the jobs of 1,000 workers at risk.
The company’s CEO, Andy Bond, recently left and the Twitter accounts of individual stores were also closed down, possibly as bosses realised that a rash of HMV-style Twitter takeovers could occur once the shit hit the fan.
If you’ve got gift cards/vouchers for Republic, we’d advise you spend them TODAY.
More on this as we get it… unless we go down the pub.
It’s no major surprise but the sad news is that HMV will appoint Deloitte as administrators in the morning, with 230 stores and 4,000 jobs in jeopardy.
The move comes a few days after the launch of a blue cross sale, with 25% knocked off the price of many items instore. Whether or not this was a last-ditch attempt to raise some revenue is unsure, but the administration news has leaked earlier this evening.
Weirdly, HMV is currently headed by Trevor Moore, former boss of Jessops. Erm…
If you’ve got an HMV gift voucher, GET IT SPENT ASAP.
EDIT: It has been announced that HMV will not be accepting gift vouchers.
Word is reaching us that the entire 187-strong chain of Jessops stores will close at the end of today, which should mean the loss of around 2,000 jobs across the country.
The company went into administration earlier in the week and was believed to owe HSBC £30 million. More news as we get it…
UPDATE: The 187 stores will begin closing FROM today. The administrator PwC has said that the retailer can no longer trade without supplier support.
Word is reaching us that ailing photographic retailer Jessops is about to go into administration. Basically, when Robert Peston tweets about something, it’s definitely happening.
As you can see, 198 stores will be affected with 2,000 staff left wondering how much longer they’ll have a job for. The chain has already been slimmed down with scores of store closures over the past few years, and it remains to be seen what the outcome of the administration move will be.
Business is pretty ugly and callous, but the head cheese of Dixons is taking the biscuit by openly being happy about the demise of Comet.
Sebastian James, Dixons Retail’s chief executive, said the group was “outpacing” competitors and would benefit after Comet slid into administration, adding that Comet’s demise had been “helpful from a market share perspective”.
Now, rubbing his hands together, he points out that Currys and PC World were well placed to pick up customers and that Dixons Retail saw like-for-like sales rising in the UK and Ireland, which is only going to get better now that Comet is dead.
Back in the 1980s, Tina Turner famously sang ‘We don’t need another hero’ while her fellow chanteuse Bonnie Tyler was Holding Out For A Hero instead. Who was right? Maybe both, maybe neither.
If you’re a Comet employee, you’re definitely in the Tyler camp right now, with redundancy looming just ahead of Christmas. But that hero could be on the horizon, with reports that a ‘mystery tycoon’ is trying to buy up 140 of the 195 not-doomed-yet Comet stores that administrator Deloitte is trying to flog.
An insider tells The Sun that Deloitte have ‘accepted an outline deal’ for the stores, from a Bournemouth-based tycoon who is believed to be linked to the Euronics distributor.
Meanwhile, Bolton-based Appliances Online has made a ‘seven-figure’ bid to snap up the Comet brand name for exclusive use on the web. 1,500 Comet staff have lost their jobs, but today’s news will bring fresh hope to the remaining workers.
The inevitable is about to happen, with Comet’s administrators admitting that 41 stores will close their doors by the end of the month unless a buyer can be found.
That would still leave another 195 stores trading but it wouldn’t be a surprise if more store closures are announced over the next week or so as time starts to run out for the beleaguered electrical retailer.
Dixons and Maplins are said to have expressed an interest in buying some of the more profitable stores, but that is probably the best that the administrators can hope for.
Meanwhile, staff are calling for an investigation into the conduct of OpCapita, the private investment company which bought up the Comet chain for £2.00 last year.
Could the ‘boutique’ hotel be about to disappear from the landscape as the economic chill takes the nation’s purses in its vile grip? Maybe.
We were awoken to the disturbing news that MWB, the company behind the Hotel du Vin and Malmaison hotel chains is looking to go into administration if ongoing refinancing plans don’t work.
Believe it or not, the cause of the potential collapse is an ongoing row between the company and ITSELF. Well, actually it’s a subsidiary company that it part-owns, MWB Business Exchange, and they’re rowing over the repayment of multi-million pound liabilities between the two companies.
We won’t bore you with the details but if it doesn’t get sorted soon, the boys and girls from Deloitte will be moving in with their administrating kits and doing whatever it is they do. Apart from making themselves a load of money that is.
There’s been another twist in the tale of woe that is Comet’s slide into the abyss, with administrators Deloitte performing a U-turn over gift vouchers and allowing them to be used in Comet stores again.
Voucher use was suspended at the weekend as part of the administration process but there was controversy when a Plymouth store allegedly rejected a £500 gift card given by a charity to a four–year–old boy with cerebral palsy.
That card will now be accepted and Deloitte said it was ‘necessary to temporarily suspend the acceptance of gift cards as a means for payment in order to allow the joint administrators time to assess the financial position of the company and collate information about the quantity, value and nature of gift cards in circulation.’
‘Having now had the opportunity to do so, we are very pleased to inform Comet customers that the company will be able to accept gift cards which have been purchased and paid for in full by members of the public.’ How nice of them.
Also being nice is posho Dixons Retail boss Lord Sebastian James, who has said that he’ll be happy to employ ex-Comet staff as he looks to recruit 2,000 Christmas staff. If it is indeed the end for Comet, that could prove to be a lifeline, albeit a temporary one for some of the 6,000-plus workers that could lose their livelihoods. Thanks Lord Sebastian!