Missguided administrators 'talking to Boohoo' after winding-up petition - report
Fashion e-tailer Missguided is believed to be teetering on the brink with administrators stepping in after creditors issued a winding-up petition.
And a report claimed that e-tail giant Boohoo is working on a pre-pack rescue deal with sources telling The Times that Boohoo has entered into exclusivity talks with Missguided’s advisers. A deal could come as soon as Monday.
But the sources also said nothing has been finalised and it’s unknown how many jobs might be saved, as well as whether Boohoo might take on just the brand or the entire business. Nobody directly involved has specifically commented on the Boohoo connection.
The news came after one newspaper on Friday said police had been called to the firm’s Manchester offices after out-of-pocket suppliers turned up there.
The i newspaper quoted several suppliers saying they’re at risk of failure themselves due to the firm failing to pay them for clothing they made.
It seems a winding-up petition was issued earlier this month by Manchester-based supplier JSK Fashions, but has only just been made public.
A spokesperson for Missguided said it’s “aware of the action being taken by certain creditors of the company in recent days, and is working urgently to address this. A process to identify a buyer with the required resources and platform for the business commenced in April and we expect to provide an update on progress of that process in the near future.”
Missguided’s backer, Alteri Investors, had stepped in to buy a 50% stake in the firm for £53 million last autumn and averted a previous feared collapse. It has pumped millions more into the business but had been trying to offload it recently with companies including JD Sports Fashion and China’s Shein having been suggested as potential new owners. Boohoo had also been mentioned because of its well known fondness for buying distressed brands, its recent buys including Debenhams, Oasis, and Karen Millen.
Boohoo is now assumed to be talking to Teneo, which had been touted as the likely administrators if Alteri was unable to find a last-minute going-concern rescuer.
Such a rescue was an unlikely prospect given that a pre-pack administration deal would allow a buyer to take on the brand or business without liabilities, such as pensions and property debts.
Missguided was founded 12 years ago by Nitin Passi and at its height expanded into giant-sized stores at premium malls like Westfield and Bluewater. It was also the subject of a TV series called Inside Missguided in 2020.
Passi stepped down as chief executive last month but remained on the parent firm’s board.
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