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Woolworths PLC to file administration order
20.01.09 | Graeme Neill
Bertrams/THE will remain unaffected by Woolworths Group's decision to file an application to the High Court to place the entire Woolworths Group into administration, The Bookseller understands.
When the group filed for administration in November, it only related to its retail wing, Woolworths plc and book wholesaler Entertainment UK. Since then, the rest of the business has stayed out of insolvency in an attempt to maximise the money to be made from the mooted sale of the group's 40% stake in video and music publisher 2Entertain.
Bertrams/THE remained outside of the administration process because it had a separate financing facility and owed none of the debts drawn by the rest of the group. It has been trying to find a buyer ever since.
While negotiations with BBC Worldwide are ongoing about it taking over the group's stake in 2Entertain, the group released a statement yesterday saying that it was no longer able to pay its debts and it has made an application to the High Court for an administration order to be made.
The statement said: "It is expected that the application will be heard on 27 January 2008 . . . In the meantime, the directors will continue their negotiations with BBC Worldwide and to take all steps appropriate in the interests of its creditors as a whole."
It added that 2Entertain continues to trade profitably.
A source familiar with the administration process told The Bookseller that, if granted, the administration order would not affect the position of Bertrams/THE, which has been seeking a buyer since November.
"Nothing has changed for Bertrams/THE," they said. "It is still seen as an asset of the administrator and it is hoped a buyer will be found."
Both Deloitte and Bertrams were unavailable for comment at the time of going to press.