Wilko administrators doubting credibility of private equity firm acting as 'white knight' | The Sun

ADMINISTRATORS at Wilko are investigating the credibility of a private equity firm touting itself as a white knight for the hardware chain.

M2 Capital made a last-minute £89million offer for the retail group, which it says would have preserved 400 shops and 12,500 jobs.

Redundancy plans were suspended yesterday while administrators considered the options.

But it is understood there are serious doubts about the credibility of M2 Capital, despite the firm saying it could close a deal by the end of today.

It styles itself as a UK-Canadian private equity firm, run by former metals and mining banker Robert Mantse.

But its own presentations show it is registered in the low-tax haven of Jersey.


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Mr Mantse told The Sun: “We are not your typical PE shop. We are a bunch of mathematicians that print money.”

An offer document, seen by The Sun, claims to guarantee all employees will retain their jobs for two years, 20 per cent of the company will be owned by the workers and all staff would receive a 35 per cent pay rise.

The administrators said: “It would be inappropriate to comment on individual bidders.”


THE car industry has been dealt another blow after manufacturer Toyota suffered a shutdown in Japan.

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The firm has blamed a system “glitch” for suspending all assembly lines at 14 factories which produce its top-selling Prius and Carrera.

Toyota is the world’s biggest-selling car maker and its Japanese plants account for a third of its entire production.

The industry has struggled to recover from global supply chain disruptions caused by the pandemic.

New car productions saw long delays and the price of used vehicles soared.

Last year one of the company’s suppliers was hit by a cyber attack, creating a full-day of disruption.

The company has so far declined to say which of its models could be affected by delays but it confirmed the glitch was not caused by a cyber attack.

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IG GROUP, the online stock trading firm, yesterday announced chief executive June Felix would be stepping down immediately due to health reasons.

Ms Felix, who has led IG Group for five years, had been on medical leave since July.

Finance chief Charlie Rozes has been acting as interim boss and will continue until a successor for Ms Felix is found.

Her departure means there are now just seven women running FTSE 250 companies.


THE number of house sales completed this year is expected to be the lowest in over a decade.

The latest Zoopla tracker suggests the number of completions will be one million — the lowest figure since 2012 and 21 per cent down on last year’s 1.3 million.

Annual house price growth in August slowed to just 0.1 per cent, the lowest level since 2012.

The number of buyers with a mortgage has dropped by a third in a year, due to higher borrowing costs, but cash-buyer numbers remain stable.

MORE brothers and sisters are helping siblings with first-time buyer deposits, according to estate agent Hamptons.

While parents still contribute about 72 per cent, siblings now chip in with 11 per cent compared with six per cent six years ago.


THE boss of Amazon has told staff “it’s probably not going to work out” unless they come back to the office at least three days a week.

“The return-to-office drive by the online giant is the latest sign that tech firms have tired of remote working.

Amazon boss Andy Jassy told staff at a meeting first reported by Insider: “It’s past the time to disagree and commit.

“If you can’t … it’s probably not going to work out for you at Amazon because we are going back to the office at least three days a week.”


THE BODY SHOP could be on the block after its Brazilian owner said it was exploring “strategic alternatives” for the retailer.

The eco-friendly toiletries chain, which has used model Lily Cole as an ambassador, was bought by Natura in a €1billion (£850million) deal from beauty giant L’Oreal in 2017.

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But the cosmetics brand now wants to reduce its empire which also includes Avon.

The Body Shop, which has around 250 shops in the UK and 2,800 globally, has struggled to maintain its success of the early Nineties.

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