The future of loss-making retailer Habitat remains uncertain, with conflicting reports predicting both a management buyout and possible administration for the homewares chain.
According to The Observer, new investors have agreed to back chief executive Mark Saunders and finance director Sébastien Drouillet in a management buyout deal sweetened by a £27m handout from Swedish owner the Kamprad family, heir to the Ikea fortune.
The identity of the new investors is unknown, but The Observer says they could include retail restructuring group Hilco, which it says is believed to have no plans for store closures.
However, separate reports in The Independent say that Hilco is itself the front runner to buy Habitat. It is thought possible that if such a deal were to go through Hilco would put Habitat into pre-pack administration, and credit insurers are now warning that they could withdraw cover to the chain’s suppliers.