Agent Provocateur went into administration last month

Agent Provocateur went into administration last month

Suppliers to luxury lingerie brand Agent Provocateur are set to miss out on around GBP20m (US$25m) as a result of the retailer's pre-pack administration.

Agent Provocateur was sold last month to Four Holdings, an investor group backed by Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley, in a deal reportedly worth around GBP25m (US$30.6m).

The brand's former owner, private equity firm 3i, had drafted in restructuring company Alix Partners to devise a turnaround plan for the business, but it was placed into administration before a deal was immediately secured with Four Holdings.

From a Companies House filing by Alix Partners, it is understood the unsecured creditors are owed GBP20.7m, and will receive just 2.9 pence in the pound, according to The Times. This compares with Agent Provocateur's lender, Barclays, which is set to claw back most of the GBP27m owed.

3i bought Agent Provocateur in 2007 for GBP60m (US$74m) from Joe Corré, the son of fashion designer Dame Vivienne Westwood and punk music impresario Malcolm McLaren.

The private equity giant, however, has previously tried to offload its stake. In 2014 it hired Goldman Sachs to run a strategic review, which was expected to lead to a GBP250m sale, but no buyer was found. Since then, Agent Provocateur's underlying profits are understood to have fallen after an aggressive expansion plan failed.

In a financial update last month, 3i CEO Simon Borrows said Agent Provocateur experienced "subdued December trading" and last year said the brand struggling with softness in spending on luxury goods.

The lingerie chain employed around 238 across its UK stores, head office and German branches.