A parcel of 73 United Carpets stores have been bought out of pre-pack administration.

United Carpets Group also acquired the head office and two warehouses of its subsidiary United Carpets (Northern) Limited, which had about 79 stores.

Begbies Traynor was appointed administrator of the business today “and the acquisition was concluded shortly afterwards”, it said.

Begbies Traynor said it was initially instructed to review the business due to “increasing concerns regarding the performance of certain franchised and corporate stores. The review highlighted the fact an increasing number of outlets were loss-making and unable to meet outstanding payments”.

Begbies Traynor partner Lila Thomas said: “The administration was a consequence of the challenging economic climate, but also the long-term lease commitments to the landlords of the stores.

“Attempts were made by the company to renegotiate lease terms, however, these proved unsuccessful. The administration of the company became inevitable. The subsequent sale was a positive result and has safeguarded the jobs of those working for the company.”

In a statement to the Stock Exchange United Carpets said: “The appointment of the joint administrators followed a review of the business which concluded that without substantial rent reductions a [significant] number of the corporate and franchised stores would be unable to continue to trade. 

“Efforts to agree reductions with landlords were not successful.” 

It said the United Carpets Group will now seek to “agree appropriate rents with landlords and, if necessary, will close those stores where agreement cannot be reached”.

It added: “The Board is disappointed at the need to take these steps but is confident that the core of locations remaining once the restructure is concluded will, with appropriately adjusted overheads, provide the foundation for a successful and sustainable business.”