New Homebase owners announce job losses with stores set to close

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Bunnings HomebaseTurnaround specialists Hilco Capital, the new owners of Homebase, has announced it plans to close up to 80 stores putting more than 1,000 jobs at risk.

The DIY chain, which is expected to file a controversial company voluntary arrangement, paving the way for the closure of between 50 to 80 shops, was bought by Hilco Capital from Wesfarmers for just £1 in May.

Wesfarmers bought Homebase just two years ago for £340m in one of the most disastrous takeovers ever seen.

Homebase was intended to be a launchpad from which the Australian retailer would take on B&Q in a battle for supremacy in the DIY market.

It was announced that Wesfarmers’ were forced to write off more than £500m after it ditched some of Homebase’s most popular business lines.

Sales in the three months to the end of March fell 13.5% to £211m, according to figures published last month which Wesfarmers blamed partly on the “Beast from the East” weather front which brought inclement conditions to the UK for an extended period earlier this year.

Homebase employs 11,000 across the UK.

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