Gordon Brothers weighs rescue bid for British retailer Wilko


Gordon Brothers, specialist investor in Britain’s Wilko, was exploring a bid to rescue the struggling retail chain, Sky News reported on Tuesday.

The discount retail chain, which sells homeware and household goods, had received indicative offers to help recapitalise itself but none of them were able to provide sufficient liquidity in the time needed, putting 12,000 jobs on the line.

Gordon Brothers, which backs British high street names like Laura Ashley, was in talks with Wilko’s advisers about structuring a potential deal, Sky said citing sources.

Wilko declined to comment on the Sky report, while Gordon Brothers did not immediately respond to a request.

The offer could include funding to implement a restructuring which would lead to significant numbers of store closures and job losses, the report added.

Wilko operates from 400 stores across the UK, where it competes with rivals such as B&M (BMEB.L), and has an annual turnover of 1.2 billion pounds ($1.53 billion).

Gordon Brothers were considering a partnership with other financial investors to provide about 20 million pounds of equity, while it would provide around 50 million pounds in debt financing, a source told Sky.

Sources told Sky that a potential deal to rescue the struggling retailer were “relatively low”.