2 Jun 2016 03:00pm

BHS set for wind down with 11,000 jobs under threat after rescue fails

BHS is set to be wound down after administrators failed to secure a rescue deal for the high street retailer

Up to 11,000 jobs are at risk after the administrators of BHS, Duff and Phelps, revealed they have been unable to find a suitable buyer for the department store, which is now in an orderly wind down.

A statement from Duff & Phelps said, "Despite the considerable efforts of the administrators and BHS senior management it has not been possible to agree a sale of the business. Although multiple offers were received, none were able to complete a deal due the working capital required to secure the future of the company.

"As a result of the wind down all 163 stores will be in close down sale mode over the coming weeks and whilst continuing efforts will be made by the administrators to sell stores the jobs of 8,000 members of staff are likely to go. A further 3,000 jobs of none BHS employees who work in the stores may also be at risk," the statement continued.

Philip Duffy and Benjamin Wiles, managing directors at Duff & Phelps added, "Our thoughts today are with the employees. We thank them for their professionalism and hard work. We would also like to thank the great British public for helping us in our efforts to save BHS resulting in several weeks of significant sales.”

Duff and Phelps were appointed as administrators of the troubled retailer in April after it collapsed into administration one year after it was sold by Arcadia chairman Sir Philip Green for £1 to Retail Acquisitions, led by Dominic Chappell.

A number of high profile investors made offers to Duff and Phelps including Sports Direct tycoon Mike Ashley.

A number of bidders pulled out after realising how much capital would be required to save the retailer and in the end, none of the remaining offers on the table were deemed acceptable by the administrators.

Three firms - Alteri, Hilco and Gordo Brothers - have been lined up as liquidators, according to the Telegraph.

"The British High Street is changing and in these turbulent times for retailers, BHS has fallen as another victim of the seismic shifts we are seeing," Duffy said.

"The tireless work and goodwill of the existing management team and employees of BHS with the support of my team were not enough to change the fortunes of the company."

Sinead Moore

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