M2 capital has missed a deadline to show it has sufficient funds to snap up Wilko, City A.M. has learned, in a sign that the frontrunner in the race to save the high street chain could be about to bow out.
Administrators for Wilko, PwC, had until 09:00 today to submit documentation to prove it has the funds to stay in the bidding process.
According to emails seen by City A.M., M2 Capital, which is fronted by Robert Manste, asked PwC to further extend that deadline to file its financing letter, but PwC did not grant an extension.
M2 Capital made a last minute £90m bid for the chain’s 400 stores with the company reportedly in talks with US-based billionaire Michael Flacks to shore up extra funds for the deal.
However, Flacks told The Sun yesterday he had “no interest in Wilko”.
“I don’t back anyone’s business. I was therefore baffled to see the articles in [Wednesday’s] press,” he said.
Yesterday, GMB Union, which represents thousands of Wilko workers, said that job losses could be announced today after an offer from an unnamed firm to buy the entire 400-strong estate failed to pass “basic checks”.
The union representing thousands of Wilko staff said that redundancy talks, which were suspended earlier this week, could now be restarted as a result.
PwC declined to comment. M2 Capital was contacted for comment.