Page last updated at 17:50 GMT, Saturday, 22 November 2008

Talks continue to save Woolworths

Woolworths branch
Woolworths has been a presence on UK High Streets for nearly a century

Talks are continuing between troubled retailer Woolworths and its two main banks in an attempt to establish if it is possible to save the iconic chain.

Woolworths has debts of 385m and it is at risk of going into administration.

The firm, which employs 30,000 people around the UK, has been suffering as a result of intense competition.

Earlier this week, it was reported restructuring specialists Hilco were set to pay a nominal 1 for Woolworth's loss-making retail business.

But the BBC's business correspondent Joe Lynam said the banks might prefer to recoup their money by calling in the administrators sooner rather than later.

He added that shares in the firm have tumbled by 92% over the past year - falling 32% on Friday alone - as confidence that the company could meet its day-to-day activities, as well as repay its existing loans, started to fade.

The general retailer has been struggling for some time as competition from more specialist outlets, large supermarkets and the internet has forced down sales.

It has suffered further as the economic slowdown has hit consumer spending.

The firm announced a record first-half pre-tax loss of 90.8 million in September and scrapped its dividend to shareholders.

In August, it rejected a takeover bid of 50m for its 815 stores from a group headed by the founder of the Iceland frozen food chain, Malcolm Walker.

Woolworths has been an icon of the British High Street for almost a century. It also has a distribution business and a DVD publishing business.



Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
What is the point of Woolworths?
21 Nov 08 |  Magazine
Woolworths in stores sale talks
19 Nov 08 |  Business
Woolworths up on takeover talk
18 Aug 08 |  Business
Woolworths turns down Iceland bid
17 Aug 08 |  Business
New boss for troubled Woolworths
12 Aug 08 |  Business

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2018 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific