Poundworld seeking white knight buyer

editorial image

The owner of the Derry-based budget retailer, Poundworld, has been granted a week-and-a-half to find a white knight buyer to save the struggling business.

A spokesperson for the company, which has over three hundred discount stores across Britain and the North, including one in the Richmond Centre in Derry, told the ‘Journal’ it was still seeking a ‘solvent sale’ of the chain.

Poundworld filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators last Thursday and this has given it 10 days to continue talks aimed at negotiating a sale, the spokesperson confirmed.

If these talks fail, however, administration or a company voluntary arrangement (CVA), at best, would be the likely outcome, neither of which would be good news for the retailer’s 5,000 plus staff.

The company’s recent travails were sparked when the United States private-equity company TPG Capital put the company up for sale in May.

The San Francisco headquartered company bought Poundworld, which began life as a Wakefield market stall in 1974, in 2015.

It’s been reported that talks between TPG Capital and the London-based investment company Rcapital, which specialises in ‘taking away immediate cash pressures’ and ‘returning businesses to sustainable growth’ are ongoing.

However, there are fears that up to 100 stores could close if talks fail, even under the less drastic CVA scenario.

The spokesperson for Poundworld said the company was unable to comment on speculation regarding the ongoing sales process.

There are at present no plans to close any stores, including Derry, she said.

Poundworld opened its Richmond Centre shop in the summer of 2013 creating over 30 jobs in the process. The firm was previously based at Waterloo Place.