British Steel collapses 'over Brexit' with 25,000 jobs at risk.
18 minutes ago
The Evening Standard
British Steel collapsed into liquidation today putting up to 25,000 jobs at risk.
The “devastating” failure of one of the biggest names in British industry came after last ditch rescue talks with the Government over a £30 million lifeline ended with no deal.
It makes British Steel the biggest corporate victim yet of the fall-out from Brexit.
The company had been struggling to renew orders with European customers amid uncertainty over future trading relations with the EU.
The Government’s Official Receiver has now taken take control of the company after it was wound up in the High Court this morning.
Three insolvency specialists from accountancy firm EY will take on the role of “special managers” tasked with trying to find a buyer for the business.
Unions and Labour called on ministers to nationalise the company, an option that ministers ruled out as illegal.
Business Secretary Greg Clark said: “This will be a deeply worrying time for the thousands of dedicated British Steel workers, those in the supply chain and local communities.
“In the days and weeks ahead, I will be working with the Official Receiver and a British Steel support group of management, trade unions, companies in the supply chain and local communities, to pursue remorselessly every possible step to secure the future of the valuable operations in sites at Scunthorpe, Skinningrove and on Teesside.”
The collapse comes just three weeks after the government gave British Steel an emergency £120M LOAN TO COVER AN EU BILL FOR CARBON DIOXIDE EMISSIONS.
The company’s main plant is in Scunthorpe - one of only two blast furnace steelworks left in the UK - but it also has sites in Cumbria, Teesside, Cumbria and North Yorkshire.
In a statement the Official Receiver said: “The immediate priority following my appointment as liquidator of British Steel is to continue safe operation of the site. I appreciate that this a difficult time for the company’s employees and I want to thank them for their ongoing cooperation.
“The company in liquidation is continuing to trade and supply its customers while I consider options for the business. Staff have been paid and will continue to be employed.”
British Steel was sold by its former owners the Indian conglomerate Tata to Knightsbridge based private equity firm Greybull Capital for £1 in June 2016.
The failure comes the day after Jamie Oliver’s restaurant empire fell into administration with the loss of around 1,000 jobs.
Sir Philip Green's Arcadia Group confirms plans to shut 23 stores in move that puts 520 jobs at risk
Topshop, Burton and Dorothy Perkins stores earmarked for closure nationwide
Evans, Wallis and Outfit will also be affected by company's 'rescue plan'
Second blow in a month for Sir Philip after he lost his billionaire status
By Lara Keay For Mailonline
Published: 17:41, 22 May 2019 | Updated: 18:22, 22 May 2019
Sir Philip Green's Arcadia Group has confirmed plans to shut 23 stores, putting 520 jobs at risk.
Topshop, Burton, Dorothy Perkins and Miss Selfridge branches have been earmarked for closure, as well as the company's Outfit, Wallis and Evans stores.
The move is the second blow for Sir Philip this month after he lost his billionaire status in the Sunday Times Rich List.
The retail group's chief executive described the move as a 'tough decision' made in a bid to save the business as more and more consumers opt to shop online.
Rents will also be cut at another 192 Arcadia stores in the UK and the 11 Topshop and Topman stores in the US will close as part of an insolvency plan.
Sir Philip Green to close 25 more Evans and Miss Selfridge stores
4 minutes ago
The latest closures will include mostly Evans stores as well as six Miss Selfridge shops
Sir Philip Green's retail empire Arcadia will close twice as many stores as it announced earlier this week.
Arcadia, with brands including Topshop, Burton and Dorothy Perkins, initially announced 23 stores would close as part of a plan to rescue the struggling business.
Now it has emerged that a further 25 stores will shut, under separate insolvency proceedings.
Arcadia have been contacted for comment.
The latest round of closures will mainly fall on plus size clothing chain Evans, as well as six Miss Selfridge stores.
Arcadia currently has more than 560 stores across the UK and Ireland, and the latest closures add to the 200 UK stores shut over the past three years.
Philip Green: what's gone wrong at his Topshop empire?
Under the proposed restructuring announced earlier this week, Arcadia will shut 23 stores and the company's contribution to the pension fund is to be reduced from £50m a year.
The measures are seen as a final effort by the company to stave off administration or breakup.
HIGH STREET WOE Boots to ‘close hundreds of stores’ in fresh blow to the high street
By Brittany Vonow and Hollie Borland
28th May 2019, 1:37 pm Updated: 28th May 2019, 2:58 pm
HUNDREDS of Boots stores could be closed in a fresh retail blow, it has been reported.
The chain is considering closing more than 200 shops, Sky News has claimed.
Two hundred Boots stores are being considered for closure
It has been reported the American owner of the outlet, Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) has placed the stores under review - considering closure in the next two years.
Sources claimed no official decision has been made but acknowledge that a "significant number" of Boots branches were likely to be shut.
If the pharmacy and beauty chain closed 200 stores it would be reducing the number of high street branches by 10 per cent.
A source told Sky News that some of the affected stores are likely to close when their leases end while others will shut down in towns where there is more than one branch.
Construction firm Kier Group to cut 1,200 jobs by 2020
The company, which has been the subject of speculation over its financial health since the wake of the collapse of Carillion, launched a strategic review in April
ByEmma MunbodhDeputy Money Editor
08:23, 17 JUN 2019Updated08:55, 17 JUN 2019
The company said on Monday that it had completed a strategic review under new chief executive Andrew Davies which identified ways to generate cash and reduce its debts
Construction firm Kier Group has announced a wave of job cuts 18 months after the collapse of Carillion.
The company said it will cut around 1,200 roles by next year as part of accelerated restructuring plans to save the business millions.
The move is expected to create £55 million of annual savings from the 2021 financial year onward.
By the end of the month, 650 full-time employees will have left the group, while another 550 are expected to leave during the 2020 fiscal year.
Chief executive Andrew Davies said: "By making these changes, we will reinforce the foundations from which our core activities can flourish in the future, to the benefit of all of our stakeholders.
"These actions are focused on resetting the operational structure of Kier, simplifying the portfolio, and emphasising cash generation in order to structurally reduce debt.
"By making these changes, we will reinforce the foundations from which our core activities can flourish in the future, to the benefit of all of our stakeholders."
As part of the renewed strategic focus, Kier will sell off housebuilding business Kier Living, its property development business and it facilities management and environmental services.
The company said it had already received a number of expressions of interest for Kier Living.
It comes just weeks after the struggling firm issued a shock profit warning, with bosses revealing that profits are expected to be £25 million lower than expected.
Boss Andrew Davies had previously been due to take on a top job at Carillion, but the company collapsed before he could begin.
Bathstore faces collapse putting 700 jobs, 168 stores at risk
Company appoints advisers to handle possible administration after failing to find buyer
Zoe Wood and Sarah Butler
Wed 19 Jun 2019 18.58 BST
Last modified on Wed 19 Jun 2019 20.45 BST
Bathstore, the UK’s biggest bathroom specialist, is the latest retailer facing a financial crunch, putting hundreds more high street jobs at risk.
Advisory firm BDO has been lined up to handle a potential administration after the loss-making business failed to find a buyer. It is understood that the group’s owner is unwilling to put in more cash to save the business ahead of this month’s rent day.
The chain has 168 stores and about 700 employees. It is based in Welwyn Garden City, has been owned by the American billionaire Warren Stephens since 2014, when he backed a management buyout.
The company was founded in 1990 by Patrick Riley and Nico de Beer who opened the first shop in Croydon. In 2003 it was sold to the builders’ merchant Wolseley which during almost a decade of ownership expanded its store network from 33 to 170 stores.
In 2012 Wolseley sold Bathstore to the private equity firm Endless in a £15m deal but the company changed hands just two years later when it was acquired by the Stephens investment firm.
The last set of accounts filed at Companies House show the retailer making a pretax loss of £22m on sales of £141m in the year to 31 July 2017. The scale of the loss reflected £11m of exceptional costs which included a £5.4m write down on the value of its stores and leases. Industry sources said recent results had deteriorated further.
Bathstore’s chairman, Geoff Battersby, who joined the company in January 2018 after the period’s end, said the company had been hit by a marked reduction in consumer confidence in 2017 and increased sourcing costs following the devaluation of sterling in the wake of the 2016 Brexit vote.
The tough trading conditions had continued into 2018, when the company embarked on a turnaround plan to restore profitability. To support the business Stephens provided a £15m loan and extended the maturity of previous loans to the end of next month. It also installed a new chief executive.
The £1bn bathroom market is dominated by builder’s merchants and DIY chains. As with other home improvement businesses sales have been affected by the slowdown in the housing market and weak consumer confidence. Sales of big-ticket items have been particularly hard hit.
In common with other sectors, stores are also being affected by customers bypassing the showroom and buying online.
In March rival Better Bathrooms collapsed into administration with a loss of 325 jobs. The company blamed “severe cashflow difficulties” and poor sales. Last year the UK’s second biggest DIY chain, Homebase, said it was closing 42 stores as part of a rescue plan after it was sold for £1 to turnaround specialist Hilco.