The Works is a discount retailer of books, arts & crafts, toys, games and audio-visual products. It is headquartered in the West Midlands and operates over 300 stores across the UK and Ireland.

The Works entered into administration in 2008 owing nearly £80m to its creditors and HSBC. Hermes, the private equity owner paid £50m to acquire the business a few years before and following a number of strategic and management changes, performance deteriorated. In the year prior to administration, the business lost over £10m.



Orbis orchestrated a deal to acquire the trade and assets from Kroll the administrator which has allowed HSBC to recover over £20m of debt and safeguard the future of the business that would otherwise have been closed.

Under a new management team, the store portfolio was rationalised and the strategy was returned back to the core principles that had made the business a success historically.

The MBI was backed by a substantial investment from Endless, the buyout and turnaround fund, and HSBC Bank.

The Works has consistently made operating profits of between £8m and £10m and continue to grow driven by new store openings and investment in online presence.

Registered in England No.9098428 Registered Office: 35 Newhall Street, Birmingham, B3 3PU
The statutory directors of Orbis Partners Ltd are Chris Gregory, James Grenfell, Gary Ecob and Shah Zaki.