Yours for a pound: The firms sold on the cheap

accounting blog swansea

DIY chain Homebase has been sold for just £1, after its Australian owner Wesfarmers decided to abandon its disastrous foray into the UK.

Wesfarmers paid £340m for the retailer two years ago, but losses and other costs will bring its total bill to about £1bn.

The chain is being bought by restructuring specialist Hilco, which rescued music chain HMV in 2013.

The £1 price tag reflects the company’s negligible value, but Homebase is far from being the first firm to be sold for £1 by an owner wanting to ditch a loss-making business.

Here are a few more:


In 2015, Sir Philip Green sold the BHS department store chain for £1 to an investment vehicle called Retail Acquisitions run by Dominic Chappell.

BHS, which collapsed the following year, was part of his Arcadia Group that includes TopShop, Burton and Evans.

The decision proved to be ill-fated for Sir Philip: last year the Pensions Regulator said he sold BHS to avoid responsibility for its insolvent pension schemes if the firm went bust. Continue reading “Yours for a pound: The firms sold on the cheap”

Surge in companies in distress

The number of companies facing “critical problems” surged by more than a quarter between the first and second quarter of this year as tightening credit conditions continued to bite, according to Begbies Traynor, the corporate insolvency and restructuring specialist.

Year-on-year comparisons in the company’s Red Flag Alert survey show a near eightfold rise in financially troubled companies in the second quarter. The survey showed 4,258 companies facing winding-up petitions from creditors or county court judgments in excess of £5,000, compared with just 542 in the same period a year ago. Quarter-on-quarter, the number of companies facing critical problems increased by 29 per cent.

Have you thought about what would happen to your business if one of your major customers becomes insolvent? What would the impact be on your business? Continue reading “Surge in companies in distress”