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30 June 2011

Kitchens Direct sale "looking less likely"

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July Homeform external

Kitchens Direct, the direct sales operation arm of the Homeform Group, is now likely to join the Moben and Dolphin brands on the open market as the company confirms the proposed deal to save it looks precarious.

When the Homeform Group announced its intention to appoint an administrator on Thursday last week it said it was close to securing a deal that will 'safeguard' its future along with Sharps, but was looking for a buyer for Moben and Dolphin.

Now, however, a spokesman for the company told kbbreview that it was "looking less likely" that it was going to be sold with Sharps as part of a package. Kitchens Direct has now ceased taking orders.

The company said that the sale of Sharps, widely believed to be the most profitable part of the Homeform portfolio, was still close to being finalised.

Homeform has still not officially appointed an adminstrator, although it had said last Thursday that it would take ten working days - which would give it a deadline of Wednesday, July 6.

Rumours have begun to emerge that several current Homeform directors may be behind an offer to buy Sharps from the administrator and the company spokesman said this was "a possibility and one of the options available. It has not been ruled out'.

Meanwhile, the aftermath from last week's announcement continues. The national press is naturally focusing on the stories of consumers who have been left out of pocket. Website This Is Money, for example, has this story of a couple who paid a £5,600 deposit by cheque which cleared on the same day the company announced it was going into administration.

The Market Creative, the marketing company that was awarded a £12 million contract to handle the advertising business for Moben, Sharps, Dolphin and Kitchens Direct announced yesterday that it had ceased trading because of the Homeform collapse.

In a statement, managing director Sue Benson said: "This is devastating news all round, but the blow from Homeform has meant that we simply couldn't continue." The company employed 11 people.

The first campaign for the deal, for Kitchens Direct, rolled out on June 21, just two days before the administration announcement.

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