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Homebase could close another 40 stores

PUBLISHED: 13:28 29 June 2018 | UPDATED: 13:28 29 June 2018

DIY chain Homebase could shut more stores on top of 40 closures already announced, according to reports. Picture: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

DIY chain Homebase could shut more stores on top of 40 closures already announced, according to reports. Picture: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

More store closures could be on the cards at Homebase.

The troubled DIY retailer says up to 40 stores could shut in a second wave of closures, putting hundreds more jobs at risk.

It is sounding out advisors for a potential Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA), an insolvency procedure used by the likes of House of Fraser and Carpetright to reduce debts and renegotiate rents.

Sources told the Press Association that restructuring experts at Alvarez and Marsall are being scouted by Homebase for the CVA, but that other options are also being considered.

The DIY chain was sold to retail restructuring specialist Hilco by its Australian owner Wesfarmers, which originally bought the group in 2016 for £340m.

Wesfarmers was part way through a store rebranding programme, which had seen Homebase stores in Sprowston and Newmarket reopened as Bunnings Warehouse, when it made the sale for £1 in May.

Homebase also has stores in Bury St Edmunds, Cromer, Dereham, Ipswich, Felixstowe, Lowestoft, Sudbury and Colchester.

The restructuring would come on top of a store closure programme that the retailer has been carrying out since February.

A total of 17 Homebase stores have been shut, with another 23 earmarked for possible closure.

However, it is thought that Homebase’s management is cautious about the prospect of a CVA because the process is so controversial with creditors, especially landlords, whose support it would have to secure to carry out the restructure.

Prior to the Hilco takeover, Homebase had 250 stores at its peak and 12,000 staff.

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