TM Lewin rescue confirmed, e-tail to be relaunched soon
The sale of TM Lewin to its lender’s parent company has been confirmed and that — as expected — the new custodian of the brand is mulling a physical stores return. But a row between the new and previous owners has also reportedly broken out.
The firm’s administrators said the new owners — a unit owned by Petra Group, which had provided the business with a £205 million funding facility through its HWSIL Finance operation — will be relaunching TM Lewin as an online brand but were “considering the possibility of opening new high street stores”.
It seems that while a number of retailers — including those owning multiple brands and direct rivals in TM Lewin’s sector — were interested in buying the business, they couldn’t or wouldn’t match Petra’s offer.
A purchase price for the business wasn’t disclosed, however.
But The Times also reported that previous owner Torque Brands is unhappy. Its shareholders have claimed Petra “blocked them from providing more capital to the business and that Petra bought the rival Thomas Pink brand knowing that it was one of Torque’s acquisition targets”.
A Torque spokesman told the newspaper: “In our view, this was a loan-to-own strategy and we will be pursuing all legal remedies once our investigations are complete.”
But TM Lewin's new parent company has hit back and said it’s considering an investigation into how the business was run, citing operating expenses that were “overwhelming for the company”.
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