Pre-pack administration rumoured to be imminent for Agent Provocateur
Lingerie brand Agent Provocateur could be facing a pre-pack administration that would allow it to be bought without being saddled with some of its liabilities, and a deal could be imminent, according to reports.
Speculation on an administration filing comes after it emerged that leading restructuring specialist Alix Partners took over from investment bank Rothschild as the lead adviser on the company’s sale process.
The high-end retailer is controlled by investment firm 3i, which surprised the industry late last year when it announced accounting irregularities at the firm, wrote down its 80% majority stake by £39m and pumped extra money into it.
This was followed by the chairman’s exit and 3i saying it was exploring options for the company as it appointed Rothschild to handle a potential sale.
It is believed that around five bidders have emerged with Alteri and Lion Capital (former owner of lingerie brand La Senza) both reported to be on the list.
Agent Provocateur suffered after an over-ambitious expansion programme stretched it to the limit but did not yield the expected rewards. It opened more stores and concessions but sales growth remained sluggish.
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