The commercial court in Lyon yesterday (22 December) ordered the liquidation of insolvent French lingerie maker Lejaby - but has allowed the company to continue trading until 20 January.

The court's decision is viewed as a 'technical' measure by Lejaby's management, which will allow staff to receive their annual bonuses, paid by an employers' wage guarantee scheme and not by the company.

The court hearing was to have examined the takeover bids for Lejaby, but this appears to have been re-scheduled to a later date.

Several bids have been submitted including one from the ex-CEO of Italy's La Perla, Alain Prost, in association with Lejaby's Tunisian sub-contractor Isalys; and another from French nightwear specialist Canat. Grenoble-based investment fund Abcia is also a candidate, while one of Lejaby's senior managers has also filed an offer for the company.

UK-registered company, Pacific Junction Corporation, acting on behalf of an unidentified French firm currently being set up, is reported to have withdrawn its bid.

Lejaby, which employs 450 staff in France, went into administration at the end of October, putting its difficulties down to a significant shrinking in the multi-brand retail channel, the main outlet for its products.