More than 1,300 workers at two Wilko distribution centres are in danger of losing their jobs after a bid by private equity firm M2 Capital to buy the entire company fell through this week.
The two distribution centres, located in Worksop, Nottinghamshire and Magor in Newport, employ around 1,300 staff across both sites.
M2 Capital’s bid collapsed after the company missed a Wednesday evening (30 August) deadline to submit evidence that it could viably buy the failed high street retailer, which went into administration in August, putting 12,500 jobs at risk..
This leaves Canadian businessman and HMV owner Doug Putman as the front runner. Puyman is bidding to buy around 300 of Wilko’s 400 stores but his bid excludes Wilko’s two distribution centres.
In June this year Wilko announced it had extended its contract with GXO Direct at both distribution centres until June 2026, as part of its “omni channel transformation” but the retailer was already struggling when the deal was signed and was operating under a CVA at the time.
Administrator PWC confirmed this week that redundancies are planned at both distribution centres adding that while “discussions continue with those interested in buying parts of the business.”
In June this year Wilko announced it had extended its contract with GXO Direct at both distribution centres until June 2026, as part of its “omni channel transformation” but the retailer was already struggling and had implemented a turnaround plan under a CVA when the GXO deal was signed.
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Another 269 support centre workers in Worksop and Newport have already been told they will be made redundant next week.
The GMB union, which has about 3,000 members who work for Wilko, confirmed that M2 Capital had failed to submit the financial evidence needed by the Wednesday evening deadline.
In a note to members the trade union added that it was fighting to save jobs at the business but “simply could not reverse the years of mismanagement under the recent regime.”
It accused the company of allowing the business to collapse through incompetence” and told members “we will not forget the dividends paid to the millionaires who gambled your jobs on their whims.”
GXO declined to comment.
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