Apr 17, 2020
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TM Lewin for sale, backer seeks quick deal - report

Apr 17, 2020

As the heavy toll the coronavirus crisis wreaks on the fashion retail and brand sector continues, London-based shirtmaker TM Lewin is the latest company to be put up for sale.

TM Lewin

The 122-year-old brand is reported to be in talks with potential buyers. Interested parties are believed to have been asked to submit offers this week. Bain Capital has controlled the label since 2015 and is reportedly keen to quickly offload the business sooner rather than later.

The news comes as a number of other labels have been seeking quick sales, with some unsuccessful in that aim as the administration filing for Oasis and Warehouse showed this week.

Corporate finance firm Alantra is running the TM Lewin auction, according to Sky News, which broke the story. 

TM Lewin has 66 shops in the UK and five in Australia. Those locations are shut, including its flagship on historic menswear-focused Jermyn Street in London. Some 650 out of its 700 staff are currently furloughed and receiving their wages via the UK government's job retention scheme. The other 50 are servicing its online operations and supply chain.

The company, of which Sven Gaede is CEO and Beatrice Lafon is chair, isn't alone in the difficulties it's facing in the current crisis. 

So far, Laura Ashley, Oasis/Warehouse and Cath Kidston have been high-profile victims of the pandemic, while Debenhams is also in administration for now. Footwear retailer Office is also up for sale with owner Truworths reportedly seeking a fast transaction. 

This week, the Harpenne label backed by River Island ceased trading too and it's likely that many others will follow. Analysts are also predicting a merger and acquisition boom as companies seek the safety of new ownership and private equity bidders pick up brands on the cheap.

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