Planet Organic saved in rescue deal but four shops axed

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Planet Organic has been bought out of administration in a rescue deal that will save 10 London stores but see four shut down, resulting in dozens of redundancies.

The sale comes immediately after the loss-making supermarket chain appointed joint administrators from Interpath Advisory on Tuesday.

It is known as a pre-pack administration deal, a contentious process where a sale is agreed before administrators are appointed, then completed immediately after.

Most parts of the business and its assets have been sold to Bioren Limited, a company whose shareholders include the founders of Planet Organic, Renee and Brian Elliott.

The deal means 10 shops across London will stay open, safeguarding 194 jobs in stores and 71 in the head office.

However, four stores were not included in the sale, in Henley-on-Thames, Bermondsey, Teddington and Tottenham Court Road, and will shut immediately.

The closures will result in 64 staff members being made redundant, the administrators said.

“The joint administrators will be providing support to those impacted as a matter of priority,” they said.

lanet Unpackaged Essentials
Four Planet Organic stores were not included in the sale and will shut immediately – in Henley-on-Thames, Bermondsey, Teddington and Tottenham Court Road (Planet Organic/PA)

The directors of Bioren Limited said they plan on “reinvigorating” the business by promoting its healthy eating and sustainability message.

Gareth Slater, director at Interpath Advisory, who led the sales process, said: “After a competitive process, we’re delighted to have concluded this transaction which will see the Planet Organic name continue to trade and, importantly, protects a large number of jobs.

“We know that the new owners have exciting plans for the business and we wish them the very best for the future and look forward to seeing the business go from strength to strength.”

Private equity firm Inverleith previously had a stake in Planet Organic, as well as in upmarket online butcher Farminson & Co, which revealed on Monday it had been sold to a group of investors including former Asda boss Andy Clarke.

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