Uncertainty for Northern Ireland Homebase staff after sale
The future of DIY retailer Homebase's nine Northern Ireland stores is uncertain after the chain was sold by its Australian owner for a reported £1.
It was sold by Wesfarmers to retail restructuring business Hilco. Wesfarmers bought the chain for £340 million in 2016.
Hilco has not said whether or not it will embark on a store closure programme.
Homebase has 250 UK stores and employs approximately 12,000 people.
Under the terms of the deal, Hilco will acquire all Homebase assets including the brand, the network of stores, freehold property, property leases and stock.
Homebase boss Damian McGloughlin said the agreement with Hilco "marks an exciting new chapter" for the retailer. However, Dave Gill, national officer at shopworkers' trade union Usdaw, disagreed.
"Staff in Homebase stores are extremely worried for the future after company's ownership changed hands yet again," he said. "Clearly the sale for just one pound is very disturbing.
"I am in touch with the company and we are seeking urgent meetings to secure jobs."