UK: Barratts acquired out of administration
Barratts slipped into administration last month
Duff & Phelps, the administrator for troubled UK footwear chain Barratts, has confirmed the company's brand and its e-commerce business have been acquired.
In a creditor report released by the firm's administrators, a company named W Barratt & Co, connected via common directors and management, offered GBP360,000 (US$591,435) for the company.
It is understood the company was set up by footwear entrepreneur Harvey Jacobson and former Barratts buying and merchandising director Simon Robson.
The initial sales consideration of GBP300,000 was paid in full on completion, with the balance payable within six months.
Administrators Duff & Phelps said that of the offers it had received for Barratts, this one represented "the best return to creditors".
The company operated from 75 stores and 23 concessions, employing around 1,035 people across the UK and Ireland. However, last month, it closed around a quarter of it stores after collapsing into administration for the third time in November.
All remaining Barratts stores have now ceased to trade.
Rival shoe retailer Pavers, however, made a rescue offer for parts of the chain last month, scooping up 14 stores in a deal worth GBP247,773.
As part of this latest sale agreement, W Barratt & Co has granted Pavers a license to trade the stores under the Barratts trading name for a period of six months.
Reports surfaced in early October that the Bradford-based firm was in trouble and was seeking a GBP3m (US$4.8m) loan to help pay for stock in the lead-up to the Christmas shopping period.
When it slipped into administration last month, Duff & Phelps said "difficult trading conditions" in the sector led the directors to "explore potential refinancing options and additional equity for the business".
In December 2011, the Barratts Priceless Group - owner of the Barratts and Priceless Shoes footwear shops - collapsed into administration after a downturn in trading. Prior to this, previous owner Stylo called in administrators in January 2009, with Ziff rescuing 160 stores as well as 165 concession outlets.
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