BHS collapse: Lifeline funds failed to arrive in time to save retailer

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Lifeline cash that could have rescued BHS failed to materialise at the last minute yesterday, forcing administrators to wind down the business instead, it has been claimed.

Mystery surrounds the rescue deal which administrator Duff & Phelps believed to have been virtually sewn up but was then suddenly halted.

One of the directors at Richess Group — Portuguese financier Jose Maria Soares Bento — was set to transfer as much as £25 million yesterday to save the retailer, sources said.

Bento, who could not be reached for comment, was working with ex-Mothercare director Greg Tufnell — brother of former England cricketer Phil — and former Credit Suisse banker Nick de Scossa. 

But money failed to materialise and, according to insiders, there was “no further contact”.

Duff & Phelps yesterday said: “Although multiple offers were received, none was able to complete a deal because of the working capital required.” The administrator today declined to comment on the expected transaction. 

As a result, all 163 stores will be in close down sale mode over the coming weeks.

The jobs of 8000 members of staff are likely to go and a further 3000 roles of non-BHS employees who work in the stores may also be at risk.

Even more jobs could go in a knock-on effect to suppliers and logistics firm DHL Supply Chain which works with BHS.

BHS collapsed in April with a pension deficit of £571 million.

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June 3, 2016 |
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