Homebase creditors approve Company Voluntary Arrangement proposal

Homebase has secured approval from creditors to close 42 stores- but none in Northern Ireland will be impacted

Homebase has secured approval from creditors to close 42 stores- but none in Northern Ireland will be impacted

Simon Underwood, partner and insolvency specialist at accountancy firm, Menzies, said: "While the announcement is positive news for Homebase, the negative reception from a number of landlords is no surprise".

More than 95% of landlords to the struggling chain voted to approve the proposal at a meeting on Friday, staving off the immediate threat of administration.

"We now have the platform to turn the business around and return to profitability", said Homebase chief executive Damian McGloughlin.

The latest restructuring comes on top of a store closure programme the retailer has been carrying out since February.

The 42 outlets earmarked for closure will be phased out by the first quarter of next year.

When Hilco announced plans for the CVA, the company said: "Rental costs associated with stores are unsustainable and many stores are loss making".

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Homebase was purchased by Australia's Wesfarmers for 340 million pounds ($440.95 million) in 2016, but it proved a disastrous investment and was sold for a mere 1 pound to Hilco Capital in May.

Homebase has nine stores across Northern Ireland, but they are not among the 42 affected.

Hilco plans to invest £25m into the business, which has about 250 stores and 11,500 staff.

Two East Anglian Homebase branches, in Newmarket and Sprowston, Norwich, were temporarily rebranded as part of a plan by former owner Wesfarmers to covert all Homebase stores to its Bunnings Warehouse brand.

It is not the first casualty of the year, with Toys R Us and Maplin both disappearing from the high street and tough times for retailers like House of Fraser, M&S and Mothercare.

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