Poundworld is poised to announce its intention to appoint administrators. The move will allow the company 10 days to two weeks to continue talks with potential buyers without the company’s creditors being able to make a claim on the business.
It also allows its staff and suppliers to continue to be paid. It is understood that investment company R Capital is in talks to try to buy Poundworld, which has 5,300 workers and 355 stores.
Poundworld, which also trades under the Bargain Buys brand name, serves two million customers a week. It is owned by the US private equity firm, TPG.
Earlier this week, talks with potential purchaser Alteri Investors, whose website says it specialises in “challenging retail situations”, collapsed.
About 100 of Poundworld’s outlets were already under threat of closure, but were kept open while takeover talks took place.
Deloitte is understood to be standing by to be appointed administrator if the company fails to find a buyer. Sources have played down the possibility of former owner Chris Edwards being able to buy the company outright.
Poundworld has been losing money for the past two years. Losses for the financial year 2016-17 were £17.1m, up from £5.4m the year before.
Like many retailers, Poundworld has been hit by falling consumer confidence, rising overheads, the weaker pound and the growth of online shopping.