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Threshers franchisees to continue trading as independents

KPMG has surrendered the leases on stores to a large number of former Threshers franchisees.

The decision will allow the franchisees to negotiate directly with their landlords, re-brand and continue trading as independents.

Ian Corfield, joint administrator of First Quench Retailing, said: “In the current tough market conditions, and in seeking to create the best return to creditors, it has been necessary to take the most economic decision regarding property deals.  

“We have been considering offers on a large number of leases but in instances where a desirable return for creditors cannot be achieved, the most realistic option is to now offer a surrender of some of these leases.”

In December 2009 KPMG, First Quench’s administrator, said that it would not accept bids of less than £10,000 per store.

At first, too many franchisees had offered prices below this level, admitted Blake Lapthorn solicitors who represented the interested parties, and it was not considered economically viable by KPMG.

Geoffrey Sturgess, of Blake Lapthorn, said: "We view KPMG’s decision to surrender the headleases as being a sensible method of ‘rescuing’ stores.

“Landlords should be delighted at the opportunity of having a solvent tenant again. Their staff and customers should be relieved that their stores are now most likely to survive."

Rupert Millar, 08.03.2010

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