Maplin seeks buyer to save business

Electronics retail chain Maplin is seeking a buyer in the hope of avoiding administration.

The company, which owns more than 200 stores and employs 2,500 staff across the UK, said it hoped to secure a deal this week.

News of a possible sale was first reported by Sky News. The current situation arose after insurers withdrew credit last year because of falling profits.

Owners Rutland Partners, which took control of the business in 2014, are rumoured to be in talks with a number of retailers, including clothing chain Edinburgh Woollen Mill.

The business also saw sales during the Christmas period fall by seven per cent on a like-for-like basis, partly due to stock shortages triggered by the loss of suppliers’ insurance.

Maplin issued a statement to Sky News, which said: “We are in advanced talks with a number of parties and expect to be in a position to announce a solvent sale of the business within days.

“Once secured this will stabilise the business to the benefit of all stakeholders and provide Maplin with the financial firepower to deliver its 2020 multichannel strategy focused on smart tech.”

If a sale can’t be agreed, Maplin said it would consider a pre-pack administration option. This would see the company line up a sale before going into administration, with the new buyer emerging almost immediately with the most profitable assets.