BHS fell into administration in April

BHS fell into administration in April

The online and overseas operations of failed British department store retailer BHS have been sold to Qatar conglomerate Al Mana.

The Doha-based group, which has a franchise deal with BHS for some of its overseas stores, has agreed to acquire the retailer's 72 international stores, in addition to the its online business. The deal took place on 30 June, a spokesperson told just-style.

BHS, which went into administration in April, operates 163 UK stores and has 15 franchise partners operating 72 stores in 19 countries including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, and Dubai. 

Administrator Duff & Phelps began the wind-down of the BHS UK business early last month, after more than eight decades of trading, resulting in the loss of up to 11,000 jobs. 

Multiple offers were made for the apparel and homewares retailer, but none were able to complete a deal due the working capital required to secure the future of the company. As well as struggling from a lack of modernisation, an unclear brand identity and a rapidly evolving competitive landscape, BHS was also burdened with a GBP571m pension deficit.

Owner Retail Acquisitions had said it would provide GBP160m of funding to help turn the fortunes of the chain around, but was not able to raise the sum. The company is understood to have recorded a loss of GBP85m (US$120.3m) in its last financial year.

Insolvency Service to probe BHS administration

The fall-out from the collapse BHS has already impacted its suppliers, with CUK Clothing Limited and Courtaulds Brands Limited calling in the administrators last week. The companies, which merged in 2006, manufacture and supply branded and private label hosiery, socks, bras, underwear to retailers in the UK and internationally.

BHS supplier Courtaulds Brands in administration