Peacocks buys Bonmarché, but final details still being ironed out
Feb 21, 2020
As expected, value clothing chain Peacocks is buying its failed rival Bonmarché, but while the sale is already being reported, some details remain to be ironed out.
A spokesperson linked to retail billionaire Philip day confirmed to Fashionnetwork.com that the deal was happening but that there would be no official announcement until it was signed, sealed and delivered.
Peacock’s is part of Day’s Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group (EWM) and is believed to have acquired around three-quarters of Bonmarché’s 270 stores, although talks with landlords are ongoing.
Peacocks was named the preferred bidder for its rival back in November, Bonmarché having fallen into administration the previous month with its CEO at the time saying “our model simply does not work”.
The company had been delisted from the stock exchange in the summer after Day had acquired more than 50% of the shares in the spring through his Spectre Holdings unit and later mounted a full takeover offer.
But while management had initially rejected that offer as being too low, they later caved in as trading got tougher. By that time, Spectre already appeared less keen on the deal, noting the uncertainty around the retailer and “the Bonmarché board's comments that the risks for the business going forward are heavily weighted towards the downside and that the current clothing market is not following the patterns of previous years.”
While the takeover went ahead, at the time of the administration filing, Spectre said “that the passage of time, and a further decline in the performance of Bonmarché, has eroded [our] ability to provide the advice, guidance and support needed to secure the long-term future of the business, its stores and employees.”
And then-CEO Helen Connolly also said that “if we had had an opportunity to work with the Spectre team closely at an earlier stage, another outcome would have been possible.”
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