TPG-backed Poundworld has filed for administration after discussions to secure a buyer for the business fell through.
Sky News reports that Rcapital walked away from a potential rescue bid over the weekend, while Alteri Investors also showed interest. Deloitte has been appointed as administrator.
Deloitte announced that Poundworld will continue to trade while a buyer for all or part of the business is sought, and that there will be no redundancies or store closures at this time. The Wakefield-headquartered discount retailer employs around 5,100 people across its 355 stores.
The announcement comes less than two months after it emerged the business was considering a company voluntary arrangement which could have seen it close up to 100 stores.
Poundworld faced tough trading conditions over the Christmas period and had turned to TPG earlier this year to discuss further funding in the region of £30m (€34m) to £40m.
A spokesperson for TPG said: “This was a difficult decision for every party involved. We invested in Poundworld because of our belief in how the company serves its customers and the strength of its employees. Despite investing resources to strengthen the business, the decline in UK retail and changing consumer behaviour affected Poundworld significantly.”
In its release, Deloitte said the business had “suffered from high product cost inflation, decreasing footfall, weaker consumer confidence and an increasingly competitive discount retail market”.
Deloitte restructuring partner and joint administrator Clare Boardman said: “The retail trading environment in the UK remains extremely challenging and Poundworld has been seeking to address this through a restructure of its business.
“Unfortunately, this has not been possible. We still believe a buyer can be found for the business or at least part of it and we are keeping staff appraised of developments as they happen,” she added.
TPG backed Poundworld in May 2015 in a £150m deal. At that time, the business was the second-largest discount retailer in the UK. Its founder, Christopher Edwards Snr, later left the company to head up rival Poundstretcher.