Frasers Group, the retail company owned by billionaire Mike Ashley, has recently settled a tax dispute with Belgian authorities, paying what is described as an “immaterial” sum. At the same time, the company has been denied access to a government-backed loan scheme designed to help businesses affected by the Covid-19 crisis.

Previously, there were speculations that the tax dispute was the reason for Frasers Group’s exclusion from the loan scheme. However, the company has now confirmed that all matters related to the €674 million tax dispute have been resolved and no significant payments are due as a result of the settlement.

Frasers Group explained that it decided to settle the tax dispute in order to address the uncertainty it was creating with its banking lines and suppliers’ credit insurance. The closure of stores due to the Covid-19 crisis has also resulted in the withdrawal of new credit insurance cover for the company.

This latest development underscores the challenges faced by retailers during the pandemic. Frasers Group, like many others in the industry, is struggling to secure financial assistance and maintain business operations in these unprecedented times. As store closures persist and credit insurance becomes increasingly limited, retailers will have to explore alternative strategies to navigate the crisis and ensure their long-term sustainability.

The settlement of the Belgian tax dispute is a positive step for Frasers Group as it resolves outstanding issues, allowing the company to focus on the recovery of its business. However, the denial of access to the government loan scheme highlights the difficulties faced by retail companies in obtaining vital financial support.

In these challenging times, businesses across various sectors are looking for ways to adapt and survive. It is crucial for retailers to explore innovative solutions and seek support from various sources, such as alternative financing options and government-backed initiatives, to weather the storm.

[Link 1: Frasers Group website] Visit the Frasers Group website to learn more about the company and its operations.

[Link 2: UK Government CCFF website] Learn more about the Covid Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF) on the official UK Government website to understand its eligibility criteria and benefits for businesses.