The Pension Protection Fund (PPF) is pressing for restructuring firm, FRP Advisory, to be appointed alongside the current administrators, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), to help oversee the investigative work related to the collapse of Laura Ashley.
The PPF believe a 'second pair of eyes' are needed to investigate the events leading up to the retailers collapse.
This move is alike the case of BHS when FRP advisory became joint administrators and liquidators when the chain collapsed in 2016. The PPF were concerned of the complex web of relationships among the BHS owners.
Both FRP Advisory and the PPF decline comment.
Laura Ashley has been saved from administration.
Global advisory, restructuring and investment firm, Gordon Brothers has completed a deal with struggling fashion and home retailer, Laura Ashley, to acquire its global brand, archives and related intellectual property.
The new brand owners say they will be placing focus on ‘’building ecommerce, developing more strategic wholesale relationships and expanding the portfolio of licensees and franchisees globally.’’
They are considering streamlining the retail portfolio of the brand in the UK and Ireland. Existing management of the retailer will be worked with to ‘’evaluate go-to-market strategies’’ for the business.
Ramez Toubassy, president of the Gordon Brothers brand said: ‘’Laura Ashley is a true giant among British lifestyle brands, possessing a unique ability to span geographies, product categories and price points.’’
‘’We feel humbled and inspired by the responsibility to reignite Mrs Ashley’s original vision while delivering unique and contemporary products to both long-time followers and new customers from around the world.’’
Laura Ashley, which collapsed into administration earlier this month, has requested to appoint a third administrator to help its case, among the mounting pressure the coronavirus pandemic is bringing on the administrators, giving them ''competing duties''.
Originally, PwC's, Rob Lewis and Zelf Hussain were the joint administrators. However, an application for another joint administrator to be appointed was sent on Thursday out of an ''abundance of caution''. Rachael Wilkinson, a PwC director, became the third administrator.
After filing for administration last week, there has been amendments to the number of jobs at risk for Laura Ashley.
Last week, 721 jobs were at risk, but now we are told that only 268 jobs are at risk of being cut as the majority are being furloughed.
Laura Ashley have shared its plans to furlough 1669 staff in line with the government's coronavirus job retention scheme whilst 6777 people continue to work for the business.
Staff are continuing to run the retailer's online operations.
The administrators for the retailer report that many interested parties have been spoken with already.
It has now been confirmed that Laura Ashley has collapsed into administration following further pressure put on retailers from the Coronavirus outbreak.
As many as 721 jobs are left as risk following the closure of half of its 147 UK stores. A buyer will continue to be searched as the remaining 77 shops stay open.
It was just last week that there was warnings that the retailer would be forced to call in administrators since it struggled to borrow more money amid the pandemic crisis.
With the state of the economy and market today, this is bound to be the first but not only collapse we see...
Fashion and home retailer, Laura Ashley, is to become the first retail casualty of the coronavirus crisis.
COVID-19 is causing distress for many businesses, the retail sector which was struggling beforehand, in-particular.
It is now reported that Laura Ashley will become the first to collapse.
The retailer has been desperately seeking funding assistance for the past month. In February it warned a loss of £14m on £109m sales. Majority shareholders and third party lenders were in talks to provide additional support, ideally a £15m loan though COVID-19 meant such rescue talks were thwarted.
Today defeat has been admitted since the intentions to appoint administrations were filed. PwC will oversee the administration process.
The troubles of the company have been blamed on a significant drop off in trade with no end to the coronavirus crisis in sight.
2,700 jobs are at risk.
''Based on the company's revised cashflow forecasts and the uncertainty facing the group, the company expects that it will not be in a position to draw down additional funds from third party lenders in a timely manner to support sufficent working capital requirements.''
All alternative options have been explored and concluded not sufficent enough hence to protect creditors, it has been deemed necessary to file an intention to appoint administrators in respect of the company and all stakeholders.