14 December 2006 — London (UK): Hilco, the retail restructuring specialist, has announced that it has acquired the Stationery Box chain of 140 stores for an undisclosed sum.
Hilco has immediately made available an additional £1 million working capital facility to enable the business to re-stock key items as the business builds up to its key Christmas season.
Paul McGowan, chief executive of Hilco, who will join the board following the acquisition, said: "We have asked the management team to continue as normal and will assist them in building a strategy for the future of the business over the coming weeks. The directors and the team at Stationery Box have achieved much success over the last four years. Having inherited a heavily indebted business they have been able to increase sales and profits every year and have repaid a large proportion of the bank debt although a sizeable debt remains.
"Management’s over-riding concern is that certain lines are temporarily out-of-stock as a result of a recent credit squeeze and we have therefore provided them with additional headroom to enable them to re-balance the stocks in preparation for the Christmas trading period.
"Clearly recent trade has been impacted by the lack of certain goods but we are confident that the business will now have a successful Christmas and look forward to working with the very experienced management team who will remain in place following the transaction."
Hilco, which provides operational assistance and funding to distressed retailers, was most recently involved in the restructuring of the HyperValue discount business in Wales and the South West and the successful transition of the Littlewoods stores business to Primark.