Thomas purchases Hexham and Sunderland stores
Former Owen Owen managing director and major shareholder David Thompson has bought back most of department store chain from administrator Kroll

As forecast in today's Retail Week magazine, Thompson, who worked for Owen Owen before it went into administration in February, has purchased Robbs department store in Hexham and the Joplings outlet in Sunderland. Kroll said negotiations over the sale of Lewis' in Liverpool to Thompson are continuing and they are close to completing a deal.

Thompson purchased the businesses as a going concern under his acquisition vehicle Vergo Retail, which was set up last week.

Allders owner Harold Tillman had been in talks to buy the stores, which he planned to re-brand to help kick start the revival of his fledgling chain.

Kroll partner Philip Duffy, commenting on the sale of the Hexham and Sunderland stores, said: 'These department stores are strong local brands and we reviewed a number of offers for the business. This sale represents the best option and preserves the jobs of Owen Owen employees [more than 300 jobs].'