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Woolworths closure was ‘unnecessary’

Woolworths’ largest shareholder Ardeshir Naghshineh has called the demise of the retailer “unnecessary”, and talked of his frustration over the collapse.

Naghshineh has also talked of the “terrible shame” of 30,000 people losing their jobs – as administrator Deloitte profits from the retailer’s downfall.

He told Sky: "It seems a terrible shame that money is being found for the administrator, Deloitte, and their advisers, Hilco, while 30,000 staff are losing their jobs and the Woolworths name disappears from the High Street after nearly a century."

He complained that efforts to talk to Woolies chief executive Steve Johnson before the company went into administration came to nothing.

The major shareholder went on that he and others asked for help from Business Secretary Peter Mandelson, "which was not forthcoming".

"It is hardly impressive that the shop leases which experts commissioned by us valued at around £400m are now practically worthless," Mr Naghshineh added.

"This is an unnecessary closure which could have been avoided and I am sad it has been allowed to happen."

Deloitte would not confirm to Sky how much money has been raised by the stock sale.

The Telegraph reports that administrators Deloitte, alongside retail liquidation specialist Hilco UK, are ‘believed to have made millions of pounds in fees since Woolworths was placed in administration’.

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Tags: woolworths , ardeshir naghshineh

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