Eversheds rescues Kwik Save in nine-hour race against the clock

EVERSHEDS, North West firm DWF and Linklaters have all acted in an against-the clock bid to save supermarket chain Kwik Save from collapse.

Eversheds advised KPMG’s business rescue team – members of which were appointed as administrators after advising Kwik Save on its restructuring – in a scheme to relaunch the company under new brand FreshXpress. The move saved 560 jobs and 56 of the company’s 273 stores.

The Eversheds team was led by Manchester corporate partner David Gray, who said: “This was an extremely complex and time-challenged deal with many stakeholders that needed to be considered. We were very aware of the numbers of jobs and stores at stake and used all our retail sector experience and expertise to make this work.”

The administrator was appointed at 12pm on 6 July when the administration order began. The rescue deal completed by 9pm the same day.

“When the purchaser had the funds in place we had to act quickly as the company wasn’t able to trade,” said Gray. KPMG i s an existing Eversheds client, with Gray as the firm’s relationship partner for the North West.

A DWF team advised FreshXpress, also an existing client, led by Manchesterbased partner and head of business recovery Andrew Gregory and Liverpool-based relationship partner Paula Park from the corporate team.

Linklaters advised secured creditor, supermarket chain Somerfield, led by London insolvency partner Tony Bugg.

In April Kwik Save chief executive Paul Niklas announced a £50m rescue package via a consortium and in May the group announced the closure of 81 of its 273 stores.