Wilko prepares to appoint administrators with 12,000 jobs at risk

Discount household and garden store Wilko has filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators.

The retailer has around 400 locations across the UK and employs approximately 12,000 people.

It has spent weeks searching for a rescue deal after securing a lifeline worth £40 million from Homebase owner Hilco in January.

Today’s filing at the High Court gives the business, which was founded in 1930, a 10-day window of protection from creditors.

Wilko’s chief executive Mark Jackson said: ‘While we can confirm we’ve had a significant level of interest, including indicative offers that we believe would meet all our financial criteria to recapitalise the business, at present, we don’t today have an offer that provides the necessary liquidity in the time we have available, given the mounting cash pressures we’re faced with.

‘Unfortunately, with this in mind, today we’re having to take the difficult decision to file [a notice of intention].’

The notice of intention, or NOI, does not necessarily mean Wilko will appoint administrators, but gives the company more time to secure its finances.

Accountant PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has been brought in to advise the retailer in its search for a buyer.

Wilko stores have struggled to fill shelves in recent months after facing challenges with paying their suppliers, and plans to cut 400 jobs were announced in February.

Last month, Mr Jackson said: ‘We continue to believe that our robust turnaround plan, with significant re-stabilisation cost savings in progress, will deliver a profitable Wilko and maximise the significant opportunities that we know exist.’

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