Made.com’s founder has failed to seize control of the online retailer, which is on the verge of going bankrupt.
Ning LI stated to staff that he tried to save their jobs after making a last-ditch attempt to get back to the front lines of the business.
Mr Li, who was still one of Made.com’s largest shareholders said that he made an offer to PwC and the Made.com board last week, but it was rejected Monday morning.
He wrote to his staff: “Apparently it would be better to break up the company and sell it in pieces to generate more cash than to save jobs and honour our customers. This makes no sense. However, I wanted to let you know that I tried.”
Made.com’s chief executive officer, Mr Li, said that his offer would have saved at most 100 jobs.
According to reports, rival offers came from Next and Frasers Group. The former is believed to have been the leader in the process. The business was co-founded by Mr Li and serial entrepreneur Brent Hoberman, as well as Chloe Macintosh.
Made.com announced its intention to appoint administrators last Wednesday. This gave management a deadline for finding a buyer for any or all of the business parts.
Tomorrow is the expected date for the online retailer to officially enter administration. Pre-pack administration will be performed if a buyer has been selected to take over the business.
The company was pushed to its limits by falling demand and spiralling costs, as well as rising living costs.
Made.com stated last month that it required a cash injection between £45m-£70m to continue its operations. It had filled its warehouses with stock in order to avoid supply chain chaos and had filled them up with stock. It owed warehouse owners and suppliers at most £75m by the end of June.
Over the past year, the company has issued three profit alerts and lost its chief executive officer and chief financial officer.
Made.com was worth approximately £775m at its peak in 2021. However, it was only valued at around £2m last week after shares were stopped.
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