Wilko, which is teetering on the edge of administration, would need investment of £70m from any new owner.


A new owner would need to invest £70m in Wilko

The amount that would be required raises questions about whether a solvent sale of the business could be achieved, The Sunday Times reported.

Up to £30m would be required to provide stock for Wilko branches, while another £40m would be needed to repay debt to lender Hilco, although it is willing to continue lending.

There was speculation that Hilco, which owns Homebase, could acquire Wilko but that is understood not to be the case. Mike Ashley’s acquisitive Frasers Group is also considered out of the running.

However, two private equity houses and a rival value retailer are thought to be in talks with Wilko’s adviser PwC about a possible deal.

Willko signalled the potential appointment of administrators last week after failing to receive any acceptable offers for the business that would provide the necessary liquidity in the time needed., although there was interest.

However, chief executive Mark Jackson said then: “We’ll continue to progress discussions with interested parties with the aim of completing a transaction, which preserves the business and will encourage those interested parties we’re in discussions with to move as fast as possible.”