Wilko teams up with Hilco for £40m cash injection

Nottinghamshire-based value retail giant Wilko has secured a £40m rescue deal via a high street investor.

Hilco has supplied the revolving credit facility just weeks after Wilko warned that it could run out of cash over the festive period.

Hilco owns Cath Kidston and Homebase. The Wilko deal was finalised at the end of December, according to documents seen by TheBusinessDesk.com.

The news brings a top table reshuffle at Wilko.

Chris Howell joins the company as chair and non-executive director. Major shareholder Lisa Wilkinson will step aside as chair but will remain on the board as family director, alongside Dalton Philips who remains as non-executive director.

Natasja Laheij joins Wilko as non-executive cirector and chair of audit and risk following Chris Martin standing down in November having completed his three-year stint. Laheij holds a senior finance director EMEA position at Google and board member for Google Payments. Previously, she was a senior finance professional at Amazon.

Family director Lisa Wilkinson said: “Our history is steeped in serving customers and communities going back to 1930. Right now we’re making necessary changes to restore confidence and safeguard the future of the business. That includes making sure we have the right leadership in place – one aligned team with the right expertise to deliver the retail experience our customers are demanding of us today.”

The cash injection will come as some relief to Wilko, which has endured a torrid 12 months.

At the end of November, the firm revealed losses of almost £37m in its year-end results. This led to restructuring specialist and former Bensons for Beds boss Mark Jackson being named as the new Wilko CEO.

Wilko currently has 402 stores and employs around 16,000 people.

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