Focus DIY says it is to appoint administrators
Home improvements chain Focus DIY has said it plans to appoint administrators, putting nearly 4,000 jobs at risk.
Focus DIY, majority-owned by private equity firm Cerberus, said it was seeking consent from its lenders to appoint accountants Ernst and Young as administrators.
Norfolk branches of Focus are at Wymondham, Beccles, Thetford, North Walsham and Fakenham.
Focus DIY was asked for comment but at publication had not responded.
A statement on its website said: 'Following notification of an event of default under the senior credit facility, and a realisation that there were no alternatives that could be explored any further, Focus directors have come to the conclusion that to protect the interests of creditors they have no choice but to seek protection through filing a notice of intention to appoint administrators.'
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Focus DIY, which competes with larger rivals B&Q and Homebase, employs 3,919 people at 178 stores and is expected to trade as normal until an administrator is officially appointed.
The company underwent a controversial company voluntary arrangement in 2009 when it sought to reduce its rent burden from landlords as it battled for its future.
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The company's website today said it was unable to take orders online. It is understood that it could take days for an administrator to be appointed.
The company was founded by Bill Archer and a business partner in 1987, with six stores in the Midlands and the North of England.
It grew through a number of acquisitions, including Do It All in 1998 and Great Mills in 2000, before rebranding to Focus.
In September 2000 it acquired Wickes, which targeted trade customers, but this was sold to Travis Perkins in 2005.
Private equity firm Cerberus bought Focus in 2007, reportedly paying just �1. Focus was heavily indebted at the time and Cerberus said it would pay off the firm's �174m of debts.