The department store group Allders finally collapsed into administration yesterday, putting the future of its 5,700 employees in doubt.
The decision to seek administration, following weeks of speculation, also raises a question mark over the pension rights of its employees.
Minerva, the property company that owns 60 per cent of Scarlett Retail, Allders’ holding company, insisted it had “no liability” for the pension fund deficit. Although the pension shortfall is understood to be about £7m, the company’s total liabilities are thought to amount to £60m.
The administrators at Kroll said they were “hopeful” that they could sell the 138-year-old business as a going concern rather than break up the group.
Hilco, the corporate recovery company which bought most of Allders’ debt last week at a massive discount, was on standby last night to run the company while Kroll seeks a buyer.