Buzz People

Homebase sold for £1

The Australian owner of Homebase has sold the DIY chain for £1, ending its disastrous foray into the UK. 
Wesfarmers paid £340m for the retailer two years ago, but losses and other costs will bring its total bill to about £1bn. 
The chain is being bought by restructuring specialist Hilco, which rescued music chain HMV in 2013. 
The 24 stores that had been converted to the Bunnings brand will revert to the Homebase name.
Richard Lim, of consultancy Retail Economics, said the Wesfarmers takeover had been an "unbelievable disaster" due to "woeful management decisions, clumsy execution and a misguided perception of the UK market".
He expected the restructuring would result in store closures and more job losses on the High Street. Homebase has about 250 stores and 11,500 workers.
Dave Gill, national officer at shopworkers' trade union Usdaw, said: "Staff in Homebase stores are extremely worried for the future after company's ownership changes hands yet again.
"Clearly the sale for just one pound is very disturbing. I am in touch with the company and we are seeking urgent meetings to secure jobs."
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