Woolworths shares suspended

WoolworthsShares in Woolworths have been suspended as talks to save the troubled retailer continue. It has also confirmed that it has been in talks over the sale of its 40% stake in publisher 2 Entertain to BBC Worldwide.

Woolworths says it “remains in discussions” over the potential sale of its 840 stores. In a statement, Woolworths adds that while talks “are being pursued with vigour” it is yet to agree terms.

“Both sales are subject, amongst other things, to the approval of the Group’s lending banks. Accordingly, there can be no assurance that a sale of the Group’s retail business or of its interest in 2 Entertain will be concluded,” the statement says.

The retailer, which also owns distribution business Entertainment UK, has reportedly been in talks to sell its retail business to Hilco, a company that specialises in turning around struggling businesses, for just £1 but that an agreement has not been reached on how much of Woolworths’ outstanding debt will be taken on.

The retailer, which opened its first store in 1909, rejected a £50m offer for its stores from Icelandic investment vehicle Baugur and retail entrepreneur Malcolm Walker in September. It also posted a £90.8m drop in underlying pre-tax profits for the six months to August 2 the same month.

A series of initiatives have been launched to boost sales including selling chart DVDs for less than £10, and installing concessions of fashion retailer Store 21 in its larger high street stores.

Chief executive Trevor Bish-Jones left the company in June and was replaced by Steve Johnson, the former chief executive of DIY chain, Focus.

Latest from Marketing Week

PLEASE SIGN IN OR REGISTER. IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and inspiration that will help you develop as a marketer and leader.

Register and receive the best content from the only title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work, so we can make Marketing Week more relevant to you.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team and columnists will ask the biggest questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we will be your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Dedicated to developing your skills and helping you achieve marketing excellence. Find guidance on leadership, professional development and the latest industry jobs.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here