Both Swindon Homebases to close

By Jamie Hill - 14 August 2018

BusinessCommunity

Homebase at The Orbital and at Greenbridge due to close as part of nationwide cuts which will see the closure of 42 stores and a loss of 1,500 jobs.

Hilco, the restructuring company, which bought the DIY chain for £1 from Australia's Wesfarmers in May, confirmed it was planning a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA).

The firm, which has 241 stores, said the affected outlets would be shut over the next 16 months.

Damian McGloughlin, chief executive of Homebase, told the BBC: "[This] has been a difficult decision and one that we have not taken lightly.

"Homebase has been one of the most recognisable retail brands for almost 40 years, but the reality is we need to continue to take decisive action to address the underperformance of the business and deal with the burden of our cost base, as well as to protect thousands of jobs."

A total of 17 Homebase stores have already closed this year and the business has also cut 303 jobs at its head office in Milton Keynes.

A CVA is a controversial insolvency procedure used by struggling firms to close underperforming shops.

Restructuring experts at Alvarez & Marsal will carry out the CVA, which will require the support of landlords.

Property owners are left out of pocket by CVAs, although the British Property Federation (BPF) said that in this instance, Alvarez & Marsal and Homebase had consulted with the landlords.

Wesfarmers bought Homebase in 2016 for £340m and planned to rebrand the chain with its Bunnings brand.

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