Budget brand 99p Stores owed Northampton taxpayers close to £1m when it went under

Council chiefs in Northampton are chasing the administrators of the failed 99p Stores for close to £1 million after the company racked up large debts in the town.

Wednesday, 21st June 2017, 8:54 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th September 2017, 12:07 pm
The 99p Stores on Abington Street closed in April 2016, reopening as a Poundland.

Poundland acquired the Swan Valley-based rival brand in 2015 as part of a £55 million takeover that many feared would leave the budget giants cornering the market.

But earlier this year, Poundland placed 99p Stores into administration, stating it had “difficulties digesting its 99p Stores acquisition”. Papers within the failed chain’s statement of affairs show it closed with £20.64 million of debt to a long list of creditors.

Second largest among them (after Poundland) is Northampton Borough Council which was owed £908,706 as of April this year. A spokeswoman for the borough council said;

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Nadir Lalani founded 99p Stores in 2001.

“There is an outstanding sum of money owed. As in any case where a business goes into administration, we are following the standard procedures for debt recovery.”

It is understood that more than £700,000 of the monies owed consisted of unpaid business rates relating to its distribution depot.

The company also owed Northampton BID (Business Improvement District) £144. However the appointed administrators Alix Partners Services Limited, said the company’s assets, which include 64 leasehold properties around the UK, would be unlikely to pay off its creditors in full.

Proposals by administrator Peter Saville state: “The administrators believe that the company has insufficient property to enable a distribution to be made to its unsecured creditors.”

Nadir Lalani founded 99p Stores in 2001.

The company was founded by Daventry-based businessman Nadir Lalani, who was reported to be worth £45 million when he appeared in the Asian rich-list of 2015.

His first 99p Store opened in Holloway, north London on 18 January 2001 and at the height of its trade, the company had 251 stores nationwide.