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Electrical retailer Maplin owed creditors £150m when it collapsed

PUBLISHED: 11:40 25 April 2018 | UPDATED: 11:40 25 April 2018

Maplin in Castle Meadow, Norwich. Picture: D faulkner

Maplin in Castle Meadow, Norwich. Picture: D faulkner

Archant

Electricals chain Maplin is understood to have collapsed owing creditors close to £150m, with the lion’s share due to the retailer’s private equity owner Rutland Partners.

Maplin, which has two stores in Norwich as well as sites in King’s Lynn and Lowestoft, fell into administration in March, putting around 2,500 jobs at risk, with the business falling into the care of PwC.

It is understood Rutland, which is one of Maplin’s secured creditors, is owed slightly more than £100m from the business.

However, sources said it was unlikely all of Maplin’s creditors would see a substantial return from the realisation of its assets.

READ: High street store openings fall to lowest level in seven years

PwC is selling off Maplin’s stock and other assets in a bid to return money to creditors.

According to a report sent to creditors, Wall Street giant Wells Fargo, as the principal secured creditor, is owed around £10m.

Trade creditors, including the likes of Google, are owed around £30m.

Maplin’s administrators have made 141 head office employees redundant through the process so far.

PwC has been seeking buyers for parts of the Maplin business, and there have been around 60 expressions of interest from buyers, with the most advanced discussions focusing on the retail chain’s brand.

However, no sale has been secured yet. Joint administrator Toby Underwood said PwC might have to start closing stores due to a lack of viable interest in the business.

When Maplin went bust, it became the second retailer to collapse into administration in one day following the failure of Toys R Us, which has now shut all of its UK stores.

Maplin chief executive Graham Harris said at the time that the retailer had been struggling to mitigate the impact of the pound’s devaluation since the Brexit vote, along with a weak consumer environment and the withdrawal of credit insurance.

Several retailers are now putting together restructuring plans to survive following a tough Christmas for the sector.

On Thursday, Carpetright’s landlords will vote on a proposal to cut rents and close stores.

The company voluntary arrangement (CVA) is an insolvency procedure designed to help struggling businesses cut costs.

Other household names which have pursued CVAs so far this year include New Look and Byron.

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