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Last Updated: Friday, 4 February, 2005, 15:27 GMT
Allders receives 36 takeover bids
Allders store
Allders has struggled despite a major revamp two years ago
Administrators at collapsed department store group Allders have received 36 bids for all or part of the firm.

Kroll, which set a Friday deadline for offers for the 45-store chain, said it initially received a total of 72 expressions of interest.

It added that all the Allders outlets would continue to trade as normal while the bids were assessed.

No details were given on whether the firm will stay as one - Kroll's preferred option - or be broken up.

Possible bidders

Allders went into administration on 26 January after continuing to rack up losses despite a management shake-up two years ago.

It is very pleasing to have received such a high level of interest and that this interest has been translated into offers
Joint administrator Alastair Beveridge

Parent company property group Minerva put the chain up for sale last month but failed to secure a buyer.

While Allders continues to trade as normal at present, some 130 of its 5,700 staff have lost their jobs.

Kroll has previously said it is hopeful it can sell the business as a going concern.

This would enable creditors to be paid more quickly and potentially safeguard jobs.

But retail analyst Nick Bubb, from stockbroker Evolution Securities, said he believed it was more likely the group would be split up and sold off to separate firms.

"It will be worth more broken up than as a going concern," he said.

Potential bidders linked with Allders have included Debenhams, discount clothing chain Primark and private equity groups Alchemy and Sun Capital.

Minerva made a loss of 22.6m on its 60% share of Allders in the six months to the end of June 2004.

'Customer loyalty'

"It is very pleasing to have received such a high level of interest and that this interest has been translated into offers," said joint administrator Alastair Beveridge.

"In general, trading during the [past] week has continued to be better than during the same period last year, showing that customer support has been maintained during the administrative process.

"This has been largely as a result of the support and efforts of the employees of both Allders and the [in-store] concession holders."

Allders bidders given two days
02 Feb 05 |  Business
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01 Feb 05 |  Business
Allders in talks with 'suitors'
28 Jan 05 |  Business
Allders goes into administration
26 Jan 05 |  Business
Allders store chain up for sale
08 Dec 04 |  Business

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