Homebase’s rebel landlords could sue DIY chain

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Beleaguered DIY specialist Homebase could have another battle on its hands as it emerges a group of landlords could be gearing up to sue the retailer.

According to a report by The Times, property owners including asset managers M&G and Aberdeen Standard have hired law firm Hogan Lovells to challenge Homebase over rent cuts and shop closures proposed in its company voluntary arrangement (CVA).

Homebase’s CVA proposes the closure of 42 stores and rent cut between 25 per cent and 90 per cent on 70 other stores.

Creditors are due to vote on the CVA on Friday, with Homebase’s private equity owner Hilco Capital agreeing to add £25 million to the deal if the CVA is approved.

If the CVA were blocked, Homebase could almost certainly slip into administration, putting 11,000 jobs at risk.

Homebase’s financial troubles come after the Australian retail conglomerate Wesfarmer’s disastrous attempt to use it as a way of entering the UK market.

After acquiring the company in 2016, Wesfarmers began to convert Homebase stores to its Bunnings fascia, resulting in a loss on the disposal of between £200 million to £230 million.

It eventually sold the UK arm of company to Hilco for £1.

Since then, Hilco has been closing stores and streamlining Homebase’s operations, resulting in 303 jobs being cut at its head office in June.

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8 COMMENTS

  1. Any wonder they are in diffs. I know a store that has 9 management /supervisory roles to 22 shop workers!! Now how would you save money here and use it to put more interactive people on the floor?!

    • haha sounds about right, same in the warehouse on my shift, we got a shift manager, hes got about 4 bosses above him telling him what to do and then there is about 6 team leaders on shift. there is only about 19/20 workers. soon it will be one manager/team leader for 1 worker.

  2. Unbelievable I went sick for the first time in 34 years And they are paying top law firm and barrister to fight me at tribunal my pay compared to law firm and barristers they would save £1000s

  3. The managers who run the warehouse where i work haven’t got a clue how to run it, clueless, managers and idiots who work in the offices who don’t do the job get bored and waste loads of money on all these ideas to try and speed us up and get more out of us, if anything all they do is slow us down, make the work more complicated. All they had to do was ask the staff who do the job if these ideas would work or not, the staff are always approaching the managers telling them it doesn’t work, it was quicker and easier before, all its done is complicated an easy job, but all they reply with is, “it is what it is, just get on with it.” then your in the office for not doing enough.
    IF IT IS’NT BROKE DON’T FIX IT.

  4. If they consider solutions to stop theft in stores would save them £1000’s a day.
    Hire people with skill and not just looks that would be on the cards to improve.

  5. I am astounded by the response from our customers in respect of our forthcoming closer. They basically fall into four groups:
    1. Those lovely thoughtful customers who take time to come into store ( some who are not even intending to make a purchase) to thank staff for their help and support in the past and wish us well for the future.
    2. Those that are visiting purely to support the store by giving us the first opportunity to supply against their requirements hoping it might help keep us open – THANK YOU!
    3. Those that are eager to find out what is going on.
    4. Those insensitive ones who just come in to find out when the bargains and special offers will start. – PLEASE SPARE A THOUGHT FOR MY COLLEAGUES THAT HAVE MORTGAGES AND FAMILIES TO SUPPORT AND SHOW A LITTLE COMPASSION!

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