Uncertainty over the future of Habitat ended this weekend with its takeover by retail restructuring group Hilco.
Habitat’s Swedish owner, the Kamprad family, paid £45m and wrote off debts to persuade Hilco to take the loss-making homewares chain off its hands.
In securing the deal, Hilco won out over members of Habitat’s management team, who had hoped to effect a management buyout. Despite his failed bid, however, chief executive Mark Saunders will be remaining with the company.
Prior to the buyout there had been speculation that under Hilco’s ownership Habitat might be put into administration, and last week credit insurers warned that if Hilco did succeed in buying the retailer they would consider withdrawing cover to its suppliers.
However, while Hilco is expected to execute a rigorous cost-cutting programme at Habitat, part of which would involve head office redundancies, it is not thought to be planning to close any stores.