The Range buys Wilko intellectual property in £5m deal

The Range has struck a deal to buy the intellectual property of Wilko in a deal worth a reported £5 million.

While the deal will ensure the continued existence of the Wilko brand, The Range will not take up any of Wilko’s stores.

PwC, which was brought in as Wilko’s administrator in August, said it expects online operations to recommence as the administration store trading programme concludes in early October.

As part of the deal, 36 employees from Wilko’s digital team have transferred over to The Range, it added.

On Monday, PwC announced that all Wilko stores would close by “early October” as a hoped for deal for the acquisition of around 50 per cent of Wilko’s 400-store portfolio with HMV owner Doug Putnam fell through.

The Guardian previously reported that the potential deal with Putnam was under strain as key Wilko suppliers demanded upfront payment of outstanding debts to guarantee continuing to provide products.

Poundland has since forged a deal with PwC to take over control of up to 71 Wilko store leases while last week B&M struck a £13 million deal to buy up 51 Wilko stores.

Wilko filed a notice of intent to appoint administrators at the high court in August.

At the time, the company had already amended the terms of a £40 million credit facility it received at the start of the year to “bolster the availability of financing”.

In efforts to shore up its finances, Wilko also cut more than 400 jobs, sold its Nottinghamshire-based distribution centre to DHL for around £48 million, and set in motion plans to negotiate rent cuts across its store portfolio via a mechanism known as a company voluntary agreement (CVA).

Wilko is the largest retailer to have fallen into administration since convenience store chain McColl's last year. McColl's was eventually saved by Morrisons.

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