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Focus to begin closing-down sale

Thursday May 26th 2011

Focus is beginning a closing-down sale this weekend after a buyer for the DIY chain was not able to be found.

Administrator Ernst & Young said it was still looking to sell individual stores, and that 3,000 jobs are at risk.

Some 900 jobs have already been saved as buyers have been found for 55 of the 178 stores.

The administrator is continuing to look for more buyers for individual stores, it said.

The private equity-owned firm fell into administration earlier this month after it failed to pay off debts.

The company said it is dealing with customers who are still owed goods by the chain on "a case-by-case basis". It is not known how many customers are affected by the company's slide into administration.

Ernst & Young has already sold 13 stores to Wickes owner Travis Perkins in an £8.4 million deal that saw the Northampton-based buyer take on all 345 staff. A further 11 stores were bought by discount homewares chain B&M Bargains, securing 211 jobs.

B&Q owner Kingfisher bought 31 stores but the workforce has been told they will have to reapply for their jobs.

Some 100 staff at the company's Crewe head office have already been made redundant and the remaining 180 staff are also at risk of losing their jobs.

Copyright © Press Association 2011

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