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12 June 2017

Struggling fashion chains to be offered in a summer half-price sale?

Lisa Wright

Everyone knows that if you are prepared to wait towards the end of a season you get the latest fashions at a discounted price, and in the case of struggling fashion chains Coast, Oasis and Warehouse, business seems to be imitating life with the reported reduction in price that potential buyer Edinburgh Woollen Mill (EWM) is considering offering.

The three struggling brands were put up for sale in November 2016 by their previous saviour, Kaupthing Bank, for a reported USD 125m. Kaupthing Bank had taken over the brands, along with Karen Millen, in 2009 when previous owner Mosaic Fashion collapsed as a result of the global financial crisis.

Philip Day, the billionaire owner of EWM, has been on a shopping spree recently with his absorption into EWM of Jaeger, which entered into administration in April. He also acquired menswear brand Austin Reed in May 2016 and both of these followed his acquisition of Peacock’s, which went into administration over five years ago. If EWM ends up being the successful bidder these brands are expected to be integrated into his new venture, a concept-based department store called Days.

As with any sale, there will always be others trying to snap up bargains from under you, so EWM faces competition from a number of private equity firms, including turnaround specialist Alteri Partners.
LIsa Wright

Lisa Wright, Managing Director, M&A products

A regular blogger on this site, Lisa shares her analysis and opinion on news and trends in M&A, private equity, venture capital and IPOs.

A regular blogger on this site, Lisa shares her analysis and opinion on news and trends in M&A, private equity, venture capital and IPOs.

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