Duff & Phelps have been announced today (April 25) as administrators of retail chain BHS, after 11th hour talks to rescue the company failed to grasp a solution.
Philip Duffy and Benjamin Wiles, managing directors at the business recovery and insolvency firm, were appointed joint administrators this morning of BHS (The group).
Duffy issued a statement confirming the group had been undergoing restructuring and, as has been widely reported, the shareholders had been holding talks to find a buyer. These negotiations were unsuccessful.
The administrators explained that property sales also had not materialised as expected in both number and value. Consequently, as a result of a lower than expected cash balance, the group is very unlikely to meet all contractual payments.
The directors therefore had no alternative but to put the group into administration. The group will continue to trade as usual whilst the administrators seek to sell it as a going concern. Further announcements are expected in due course.
Reports in several newspapers and in the BBC had claimed that BHS owner Retail Acquisitions, a consortium led by a former bankrupt Dominic Chappell, were seeking last-minute funding in the past three days to keep the business afloat.
In a letter to all staff sent yesterday, Chappell said: “It is with a deep heart that I have to report, despite a massive effort from the team, we have been unable to secure a funder or a trade sale.”
It’s believed that around 11,000 high street jobs are now at risk at the retail chain.
Despite being a household name on the high street for more than 80 years, BHS had suffered a sharp decline in the past two years.
The chain was sold by retail tycoon Sir Phillip Green for £1 last year, but it has been hit by falling sales, soaring rent costs for city centre stores and a growing pension deficit.
By Marcel LeGouais