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Toys R Us and Maplin on the brink of collapse, putting nearly 6,000 jobs at risk

Toys R Us and Maplin are set to become the latest casualties in the beleaguered retail sector on Wednesday, putting almost 6,000 jobs at risk. Toys R Us, which employs 3,200 people in the UK, met with the Pension Protection Fund on Friday to warn that crunch talks with investors and buyers, over securing a £120m lifeline, were unlikely to result in a deal. Sources told The Daily Telegraph that Toys R Us’s UK business was set to appoint administrators on Wednesday morning, although no final decision had yet been made. Moorfields Corporate Recovery is understood to have been lined up to handle the administration.It would come just over two months after the future of Toys R Us’s UK workers appeared to have been shored up, following approval for its restructuring plan. However, the company has since been hit by a £15m tax bill in the UK, and needed a £50m injection to pay off lenders that provided financing to its US parent company.

Maplin, meanwhile, had been holding exclusive talks with Edinburgh Woollen Mill over a solvent sale, after credit insurers scaled back their exposure to the group amid widening losses, causing stock shortages.However, those talks broke down on Tuesday afternoon. PricewaterhouseCoopers, who had been conducting the talks on behalf of Maplin for the past eight weeks, has been lined up to handle the electrical retailer’s administration.Maplin has around 200 stores across the UK, employing 2,500 people. It is thought to have been holding talks with a number of parties, and some of those parties may re-enter discussions with PwC now it is no longer seeking a deal with Edinburgh Woollen Mill, the firm owned by retail tycoon Philip Day. Although the reason for the talks collapsing was not clear late on Monday, sources told The Daily Telegraph that both sides, Edinburgh Woollen Mill and Maplin owners Rutland Partners, were likely to play the blame game over who was responsible.

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