POSSIBLE bidders for Wilko will have their final opportunity to declare an interest in buying the crisis-stricken retailer on Wednesday as administrators seek a deal to save jobs.

The historic high street chain fell into administration last week, putting the future of its 400 stores and 12,500 workers in jeopardy.

It is understood that administrators from PwC set a deadline of Wednesday for the first round of offers for the firm.

There are 18 Wilko stores located across South Wales:

  • Aberdare;
  • Abergavenny;
  • Barry;
  • Bridgend (two stores);
  • Blackwood;
  • Cardiff (three stores);
  • Chepstow;
  • Cwmbran;
  • Llanelli;
  • Merthyr Tydfil;
  • Neath;
  • Newport;
  • Pontypool;
  • Port Talbot;
  • Swansea.

However, any deal for the retailer, its brand or stores is not expected to be sealed on the day.

The PA news agency understands that initial bids will then be whittled down to a reduced number of more serious options, with a second round of the process due to start from Friday.

It is not known how long the entire administration process will take.

Wilko stores have continued to trade and will remain open as the insolvency process continues.

The retailer’s chief executive, Mark Jackson, said last Thursday it had received “a significant level of interest”, but was “left with no choice but to take this unfortunate action” after being unable to close a solvent sale.

The administration process means that bidders are not expected to take on all the company’s liabilities, such as costly debts, as part of any deal.

Rivals Poundland, B&M, The Range and Home Bargains are reportedly among the firms interested in snapping up the business, according to the Sun newspaper.

Private equity firms including Gordon Brothers and Alteri have also previously been linked to a deal.