Poundworld in race to avoid collapse as it struggles to secure buyer

Poundworld employs more than 5,000 people

Discount retailer Poundworld is set to launch proceedings to appoint administrators, according to the Press Association.

Poundworld could be at risk of entering administration in a matter of day, putting about 5,300 jobs at risk at its 350-plus stores.

Sky News, which revealed Alteri's move, said United States firm Flacks, which expressed interest in Poundland, was no longer considered a contender.

It is understands that during the sale process, which is being steered by Poundworld's lender Santander, the retailer has rejected offers to buy the business through a pre-pack administration.

The company's management say they are in talks with other potential buyers, and it is thought that Poundworld's founder, Chris Edwards, might take on the business.

The proposed buy out by Alteri had postponed a plan to close 100 stores as part of a job saving restructure.

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Bosses at the struggling firm opted to put it up for sale in May, rather than going through a restructuring programme that would involve cutting 1,500 jobs.

Several retailers have shown significant financial distress this year, with both Maplin and Toys R Us disappearing from the high street. Read about the House of Fraser and its Carlisle store here.

Failure to successfully conclude a deal would probably lead to HoF plunging into administration, although the company insists its plans are "on track".

Poundworld has stores in Canterbury, Chatham, Dartford and Strood.

Restaurant chains including Byron, Carluccios and Prezzo - which is also owned by TPG - have also sought approval from creditors to shut scores of outlets amid similarly tough conditions in the United Kingdom casual dining sector.

Rcapital, Poundworld and TPG declined to comment.