Edinburgh Woollen Mill secures rescue deal saving 1,500 jobs



The Edinburgh Woollen Mill has secured a deal to rescue to the business and its sister brand Ponden Homes in a move which will save nearly 1,500 jobs.

The joint administrators at FRP Advisory confirmed that the business had been sold to Purepay Retail Limited, which is backed by an international investor consortium.

Tony Wright and Alastair Massey, partners at FRP, were appointed as joint administrators to both companies on Thursday 5 November 2020. In recent weeks, the two have marketed the businesses for sale.

Purepay, a secured creditor to the businesses, has acquired all the remaining stock, as well as the head office site and distribution centre in Carlisle.

Purepay will operate 246 stores under licence from across both brands. The corresponding 1,347 store staff will transfer to the acquirer, alongside all 72 head office and 34 distribution staff.

The remaining 85 Edinburgh Woollen Mill stores and 34 Ponden Home stores have been permanently closed. The roles from these stores, including 358 Edinburgh Woollen Mill staff and 127 Ponden Home staff, have been made redundant.

Tony Wright said: “We have extensively marketed these businesses for sale and this transaction provides the best chance to save stores and jobs, but also meet our own statutory obligations to creditors.

“However, with such little visibility on future trading conditions in UK retail, we regret that not all of Edinburgh Woollen Mill and Ponden Home could be rescued. This has resulted in a significant number of redundancies at a particularly challenging time of year and period of economic uncertainty. We have a team working hard to support all those affected as we help make applications for redundancy payments.”

 



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