Go Outdoors landlords could get back just 1p in every £1 owed
Jul 20, 2020
The unsecured creditors of JD Sports-owned Go Outdoors could get back only around 1p in the pound, according to the administrator.
Given that JD Sports has already said that it would pay any taxes the chain owes, as well as branded suppliers, and that it will honour returns and gift cards, that leaves only its landlords footing the bill for the administration.
JD Sports put Go Outdoors into administration last month and quickly bought it back in a pre-pack deal, saying that unfair rents had been the biggest problem for the chain. The company said that it was locked into long lease deals that had clauses stipulating upwards-only rent revisions – something that was quite common in retail lease deals before the post-Brexit-vote downturn.
Deloitte, which was appointed administrator to the chain last month, sold the business back to JD Sports for £56.5 million with the loss of no jobs at the time. Records filed at Companies House said that Deloitte actually received as many as five offers for the business.
The Telegraph reported that Deloitte has granted JD Sports a license to continue operating the 67 Go Outdoors shops while the retail giant talks to landlords about cheaper rents. If it doesn't get better rent deals, it's likely that some branches will close, even though that not what's the company is aiming for.
Go Outdoors has been a disappointment for its parent company, which paid £112 million for it four years ago. The leases that it's unhappy about were in place before it bought the chain.
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