Woolworths headed for insolvency?

Woolworths is ‘a few desperate hours of negotiation’ away from administration.

That’s according to The Times, which quotes sources saying ‘administration is the most likely option as the retailer scrabbles to find sufficient funds to pay its monthly wage bill’.

However MCV can confirm that the chain’s games buying team is still in place and at work today.

A spokesperson for the firm could not comment when contacted by MCV today.

The Times also reports that Woolworths has now ‘agreed in principal’ to sell 2 entertain to BBC Worldwide, its joint venture partner, for 100 million in a bid to cut its debt.

Elsewhere in the news, Retail Week reports that Business Secretary Lord Mandelson has intervened to attempt to save the chain – and convince its lenders to sell the Woolwroths retail arm to Hilco Ltd.

According to the trade magazine: ‘Mandelson’s office called in Woolworths’ lenders – which include Burdale and GMAC – for an emergency meeting yesterday as the retailer tottered on the brink of administration.

‘Mandelson’s office is also understood to have contacted Barclays boss John Varley – the bank allegedly threatened not to process Woolworths’ payroll this Friday – to press for a change of heart.’

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