Major Portsmouth retailer could go bust today
One of Portsmouth's biggest retailers could plunge into administration today after last ditch talks to find a buyer broke down, putting 3,200 jobs nationwide under threat.
Britain’s biggest toy shop chain Toys R Us - which has a branch in Portsmouth’s Ocean Retail Park - is desperately trying to find the cash for a £15 million VAT bill due to the taxman.
But after last-ditch discussions with potential buyers broke down last week, bosses are thought to be expecting the worse.
According to Sky News, the company is courting potential buyers in Europe hours before it plans to put British stores into administration,
Before Christmas, Toys R Us looked to have staved-off administration, but the chain is now struggling to pay off a £15 million VAT bill thanks to weak Christmas trading.
Recovery firm Moorfields is reportedly on standby to handle the administration process. And the Pension Protection Fund lifeboat (PPF) has been warned that the retailer’s 600-member retirement scheme is likely to fall into their hands, which would lead to substantial cuts to savers’ benefits.
Insiders believe the writing is on the wall for Toys R Us after potential buyers Alteri Investors and Hilco Capital – who stepped in to save high street music chain HMV in 2013 – pulled out of discussions due to the complexity of the turnaround job needed.
Desperate efforts are being made to find a buyer for the company’s operation on the continent, which has more than 230 shops in ten markets including France, Germany and Spain.