Danny McCance 4 Jul 2018 09:55am

Deloitte responds to Poundworld founder criticisms

The Big Four firm defends itself following Chris Edwards’ criticisms on how it has dealt with administration of the retailer

Edwards, who founded the company in 1974, claimed that “the whole administration process has been handled badly”, the Telegraph reported.

"I contacted the administrator four weeks ago and was just paid lip service until everyone else they were talking to about saving Poundworld had walked away,” Edwards said.

Deloitte responded by stating that as administrators, it continues to seek buyers for the business, in part or as a whole.

“To date no party has presented a credible and acceptable bid with accompanying confirmation of funding,” a spokesperson said.

Edwards said that the process had taken too long and that this delay makes the sale even more difficult and puts more jobs at risk.

He added that when he raised his concerns, Deloitte said “their priority is to creditors, so it will be interesting to see how much cash is left after the administrators’ fees and wages”.

Edwards said that members of the management team are willing to return to the business, and he is also reportedly engaging with bankers at Poundworld’s lender Santander on a potential rescue package.

Deloitte said that it has provided guidance on how a successful bid could be structured, with detailed information to help prospective bidders.

“In the interim, as one would expect in these circumstances, we are preparing for all eventualities as this process continues,” a spokesperson said.

Restructuring partners Clare Boardman and Daniel Buttes were appointed as administrators to Poundworld on 11 June and pointed to rising costs, weaker consumer confidence and a decreasing footfall as reasons behind the retailer’s troubles.