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McColl's Kent stores at stake after company enters administration

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A major retailer with 20 stores in Kent has gone into administration.

McColl's had been in discussions with lenders to shore up the business, but have confirmed this afternoon that they were unable to save it.

McColl's has 20 stores across Kent. Photo: Google Street View
McColl's has 20 stores across Kent. Photo: Google Street View

The chain, which struggled badly during the pandemic due to supply chain issues, inflation and a heavy debt burden, will now look to appoint administrators.

Supermarket giant Morrisons, which is a major wholesale partner, also tabled a last-ditch effort to support the business, however the company confirmed “the lenders made clear that they were not satisfied that such discussions would reach an outcome acceptable to them”.

It said the company will now appoint administrators from PwC in an effort to “preserve the future of the business and to protect the interests of employees”.

The company said it hopes that the administrators will help to “implement a sale of the business to a third-party purchaser as soon as possible”.

It is understood that Morrisons is still interested in a takeover, while Sky News has reported that forecourt giant EG Group is interested in a deal.

McColl's in Ramsgate. Picture: Google Street View
McColl's in Ramsgate. Picture: Google Street View

Earlier on Friday, Morrisons tabled a rescue deal which would also take on the business as a going concern, absorb its debts of over £100 million and take responsibility for the company’s pension scheme.

The two businesses are major partners, with McColl’s operating hundreds of convenience shops under the Morrisons Daily brand.

McColl’s has struggled financially in recent years after witnessing soaring costs due to supply chain disruption, inflation and its large debt burden.

On Thursday evening, McColl’s had said it was in talks over “potential financing solutions” to resolve its funding issues.

Shares in McColl’s were suspended earlier this week after the company delayed the publication of its latest financial results due to its financing talks.

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