Deal 'saves' Kwik Save jobs

08-07-2007

Deal 'saves' Kwik Save jobs
Kwik Save's administrators have announced that around 600 jobs are to be saved at the troubled supermarket chain after they brokered a £18 million deal to sell the company's remaining stores.

The agreement to sell 56 of the budget retailer's branches to FreshXpress was negotiated by KPMG last night.

It comes after Kwik Save went into administration yesterday, with the loss of 90 of the company's remaining 146 stores.

The supermarket chain, which last month closed a further 81 stores, had seen its market share shrink in recent years in the face of competition from rivals Aldi and Lidl as well as the emergence of budget food lines from larger retailers such as Tesco and Asda.

Many staff employed by the retailer had worked without wages for a number of weeks in the hope that Kwik Save could be saved from collapse and shopworker's union Usdaw warned on Thursday that they faced "great hardship".

FreshXpress' purchase of 56 Kwik Save outlets comes after a Manchester high court judge accepted the move and a proposed refinancing package concerning the business.

It is understood that the deal was backed by Irish entrepreneur Brendan Murtagh.

A spokesman for Kwik Save's administrators confirmed that those staff who will now be employed by FreshXpress will subsequently be paid money that they are still owed.

KPMG has set up a free helpline for Kwik Save workers, but those based in branches that have closed will now have to contact a government agency in order to obtain any outstanding wages or redundancy money.

Responding to the news Liverpool worker Amanda Higgins told the BBC that she intended to "fight" to gain a redundancy package.

"I am not going to let it lie," she said.



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