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Potential Closure of Peacocks Stores

Volume 540: debated on Tuesday 21 February 2012

The Petition of residents of Ogmore

Declares that the Petitioners are concerned about the potential closure of Peacocks stores.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to take all possible steps to prevent the closure of Peacocks stores.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Huw Irranca-Davies, Official Report, 1 February 2012; Vol. 539, c. 954.]

[P001003]

Observations from the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, received 20 February 2012:

The Government recognise that the administration of Peacock’s Stores is a matter of concern for its staff, creditors and customers.

Administration is the UK’s main business rescue procedure, with thousands of businesses and jobs having been saved since it was first introduced a quarter of a century ago. An administrator’s primary objective in law is to rescue the company. If that is not possible, the administrator must seek to achieve a better result for the company's creditors than if it were put into liquidation, which can often involve selling on the underlying business (or part of it) to a new owner. The administrator must also act in the best interests of creditors as a whole.

I note from press releases issued by the administrators that they are engaging with potential purchasers of the business.

The Government have no power to interfere in the operation of individual insolvencies—or wish to do so—as these are matters for the office-holders appointed. Administrators are licensed and regulated professionals, highly trained in their field, with very clear statutory objectives to seek to rescue the company or underlying business, where this is possible and appropriate.