Business: Alexon Deal Saves 2,700 Jobs



Alexon Deal Saves Jobs

Alexon Deal Saves Jobs

Around 2,700 jobs are expected to be saved at fashion group Alexon following its quick sale to private equity firm, Sun Capital Partners yesterday. Alexon, which owns brands such as Ann Harvey, went into administration yesterday following its failure to pay its large quarterly rent bill or payroll of 2,700 staff. It appointed KPMG to be its administrator, before being acquired almost immediately in a “pre-pack” administration deal.

Takeover

Following the issue of three profit warnings within six months, Alexon announced earlier this month that it was considering a takeover offer at a “significant discount” on the share price. It had also considered selling off some of the seven brands it owns to solve cash flow problems. Instead Alexon announced that: “Unfortunately these options have failed to reach a satisfactory conclusion in the time available, and following discussions with the group’s lenders, it became clear that the group was unable to continue trading as a going concern.” The last quarterly rent day in June also pushed several well known retailers, such as Habitat UK and Jane Norman, into administration.

The late September heat wave has added to retailers woes, further decreasing an already low footfall.  Jane McNally, Alexon’s chief executive said: “We are extremely pleased to have a new owner which gives our business the more appropriate capital structure that we have been seeking.” Sun Capital Partners have said they intend to retain Ms McNally as chief executive.

Growing Market

Paul Daccus of Sun Capital Partners said: “Alexon has strong brands which operate in a growing segment of the retail sector and this is an exciting acquisition.” Pointing out that many of Alexon’s brands are aimed at older or larger shoppers, both growing demographics, he added:  ”These well-recognised brands have a market-leading position in a small but growing niche. It is less volatile to trends than a high fashion business.”

 

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