Jones Bootmaker: administration beckons
Jones Bootmaker is expected to go into administration Friday as owner Alteri still has not reached a deal to sell the ailing chain. A filing would come hot on the heels of the private equity company putting its Brantano chain into administration earlier this week and could mean over 1,100 jobs are at risk.
Reports suggested Alteri had been on the verge of a deal with private equity peer Endless, which owns Bathstore, and it was hoped most of its 100-plus stores and a majority of the jobs could be saved had that deal gone through. But it seems Endless was not prepared to pay Alteri’s asking price. The Guardian reported that Endless was offering £10 million but Alteri wanted £11 million, causing the sale to fall through at the 11th hour.
Now, York-based footwear firm Pavers is reported to be in the running to buy some of the stores, but not ahead of a major rent bill that is due, which makes an administration filing almost inevitable.
Kurt Geiger, which emerged as a potential bidder earlier this week but was later said to be out of there running, could also still be interested in acquiring the Jones brand.
Yet Pavers is seen as the most likely buyer and it is also expected that a pre-pack administration deal could be the next step. However, if no concrete deal emerges, then liquidation beckons for Jones.
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