PwC beds in at Harveys administration

PwC is handling the administration of a group of companies which includes the two high street bedroom furniture retailers Harveys and Bensons for Beds, with some operations sold in a pre-pack deal but over 1,300 jobs still at risk

Zelf Hussain, Peter Dickens, partners, and Yulia Marshall, director, of PwC were appointed as joint administrators of the companies. In addition, Ross Connock, PwC director, was also appointed as joint administrator of Formation Furniture Ltd.

The group is a vertically integrated UK retailer that operates under a multi-channel strategy through stores, online and telesales. Its principal activities are the manufacture, distribution and retail of beds/mattresses and home furniture products with annual revenues in excess of £600m.

It operates from 262 retail stores, four manufacturing sites and a delivery network of regional distribution centres.

On appointment, the joint administrators sold certain business and assets of the group to Bensonsforbedsretail Ltd, Bensonsforbedsmanufacturing Ltd and BlueGroup Propoco Ltd, in a pre-pack deal.

The sale largely relates to the Bensons for Beds part of the business, and has preserved 1,899 jobs, although there have also been 240 redundancies.

The Harveys furniture stores and those manufacturing facilities not acquired by the purchasers will continue to trade in administration, with 1,330 employees retain to support trading while options are considered.

Zelf Hussain, joint administrator and PwC deals partner, said: ‘The group had been facing increasingly challenging trading conditions in recent months, in particular the Harveys furniture business.

‘This has resulted in cash flow pressures, exacerbated by the effects of coronavirus on the supply chain and customer sales. It has not been possible to secure further investment to continue to trade the group in its current form.

‘Following our appointment, we immediately completed a sales process for certain business and assets of the group. This sale puts the ongoing business on a firmer financial footing in its restructured form as Bensons for Beds only model, whilst preserving 1,899 jobs. The purchasers will be working with the existing management team to continue to grow and develop the business.’

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