Following intense speculation in the national press about the future of high street hardware chain Robert Dyas, it seems a buyout deal has been struck to save the ailing retailer.
A management buyout has reportedly been agreed after the company’s lender, Lloyds Banking Group, now 43%-owned by the government, agreed to back the proposal. Ex-Kingfisher and MFI director Stephen Round and corporate turnaround specialist Ian Gray will run the company.
The deal is expected to complete over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend and could save some 1,200 jobs across the 105 Dyas stores.
Robert Dyas has been the subject of rumours in recent months that it was about to go into administration, something the company has always strongly denied.
However, a look at the company’s figures suggests that Robert Dyas is several months overdue in filing its latest accounts. It is also worth noting that a new company called Robert Dyas Property Ltd was set up on March 30. Assuming the title is descriptive of the intended activity, it could suggest a move to separate the company’s property holdings from its trading.
This could be either because it has some valuable property (freeholds and/or long leases on good terms) that it wants to hold on to should the trading business go into administration.
Alternatively, it could hold onerous leases it wants to get rid of, and therefore be moving them all into a new property company and then allow it to go into administration while continuing to trade.