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‘Genuine grounds for hope’ for Wilko as bidders circle, says union

There are “genuine grounds for hope” over the future of stricken retailer Wilko after interest from potential suitors, the GMB union has said.

The retailer tumbled into administration last week, putting the future of its 400 shops and 12,500 workers at risk.

Administrators from PwC swiftly sought offers from potentially interested firms which could save jobs and stores.

It is understood that bidders were set a deadline of Wednesday to register their interest but the insolvency process is continuing as PwC assesses options for the retailer and its assets.

GMB, which has met the company and its administrators as part of the consultation process, indicated that a deal could be struck.

Andy Prendergast, GMB national secretary, said: “We can confirm there have been expressions of interest from organisations who are considering taking over at least some parts of the business.

“These are still at an early stage, but means there are genuine grounds for hope.

“Whilst this process continues staff will continue to be paid and kept on. All stores are continuing to trade, and deliveries of new stock will continue.”

The administration process means that bidders are not expected to take on all the company’s liabilities, such as costly debts, as part of any deal.

Rivals Poundland, B&M, The Range and Home Bargains are reportedly among the firms interested in snapping up the business or some parts, according to The Sun newspaper.

On Friday, Wilko also launched a new sale offering significant reductions to shoppers as it continues to trade and work through existing and new stock.