Ernst & Young sells Focus DIY stores to Wickes

ERNST & YOUNG ADMINISTRATORS have sold 13 Focus DIY stores to Wickes Building Supplies, a subsidiary of Travis Perkins.

Simon Allport, Tom Jack and Alan Hudson, partners at Ernst & Young, were appointed joint administrators to the collapsed retailer earlier this month.

Allport (pictured) said: “We are delighted to secure a sale for these stores and to save the jobs of all 345 associated employees.

“Since the date of the administrators’ appointment, stores have been trading at record levels as we have been able to offer very competitive prices across the full product range.”

Shortly after their appointment, the administrators were able to sell 31 stores to Kingfisher, the parent company of ScrewFix and B&Q.

The administrators are left with approximately 135 stores to sell following the latest deal, however, all 178 will continue to trade under the Focus DIY brand and under the watchful eyes of the administrators until a handover period to purchasers in the summer.

Focus DIY was founded in 1987 and has annual sales of about £450m.

The retailer avoided administration in 2009 when BDO insolvency practitioners achieved a Company Voluntary Arrangement to restructure and repay a percentage of debts over a contracted period of time.

The administrators will be left with about 160 stores following completion of the latest deal.

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