Wilko staff at Motherwell and Hamilton stores given hope of keeping jobs after a fresh rescue bid was launched for the ailing high street store
We told you previously how the high street chain had been placed into formal administration, putting 10 shops in Scotland at risk of closure – that included those in Motherwell and Hamilton.
Administrators for the company – which has 408 shops in the UK and employs over 12,000 employees – PricewaterhouseCoopers, had asked parties interested in saving the ailing business, to formally submit initial offers earlier this month.
Now a fresh rescue bid has emerged, with private equity firm M2 Capital confirming it has made a £90m bid for the business.
And it came with good news for workers, with those behind the bid pledging to retain all employees' jobs for two years.
It is one of several offers being considered by administrators, with the owner of HMV, Canadian businessman Doug Putman, also interested in salvaging some of the Wilko business. His bid, it is understood, would look to keep the majority of the chain's stores open.
National secretary of the GMB union, Andy Prendergast, said that while "the devil is in the detail,” any bid that guarantees jobs “has to be prioritised".
A spokesman for PwC said talks were "continuing with a number of parties," adding: "As administrators, we're intent on achieving the best outcome for everyone involved while preserving as many jobs as possible and adhering to our statutory duty to act in the best interests of the creditors as a whole.
"It would be inappropriate to comment on individual bidders or interested parties at this stage in the process."
Known for its budget goods, Wilko has been a staple of the British high street for over 90 years and is considered the biggest privately owned retailer in Britain.
Earlier this year, it was reported the owners were considering selling the company to secure its future.
That came after sharp losses and a cash shortage, with senior management criticised for falling behind rivals such as B&M, Poundland, The Range and Home Bargains.