On Monday 23 March, Rob Lewis and Zelf Hussain of PwC were appointed as joint administrators of Laura Ashley Holdings plc (“ Laura Ashley” or “the Company”, its key trading subsidiary Laura Ashley Limited, Premier Home Logistics Limited, Laura Ashley Investments Limited, and Texplan Manufacturing Limited (collectively “ the Group”)). Rachael Maria Wilkinson was appointed on 17 April 2020.
On 22 April 2020 the joint administrators secured a sale of the Laura Ashley brand to Gordon Brothers Brands, LLC. Since that date, they have been working closely with management, employees and interested parties to explore a sale of the UK and ROI operations as a going concern.
Despite their best efforts it has not been possible to secure a buyer for those operations at this time. Whilst the joint administrators remain open to interest in the business, regretfully, it is not viable to retain all employees due to the financial position of the business. The joint administrators have had to take the difficult decision to implement a redundancy programme today for 148 employees across a number of head office and back office functions.
All staff affected have been informed and will be paid up to and including their last day of employment. The administrators thank the employees for the support, service and cooperation they have provided to the group, both before and during the administration.
The administrators continue to review the position of Laura Ashley stores and will provide further updates in due course. All Laura Ashley stores have been closed since 24 March 2020 in line with government restrictions. The administrators continue to trade the e-commerce business and prepare for all stores to reopen once permitted to do so, to sell through the stock on hand.
Rob Lewis, joint administrator and PwC partner, said:
“It is with real regret that we have to announce redundancies at what is already a challenging time for individuals dealing with COVID-19 disruption. We will, of course, provide all affected staff with the necessary support, which will include working with various agencies and employers who have vacancies.”
“The company is continuing to trade. We still believe there is value in the group and we remain focused on doing all we can to preserve the remaining business while we try to achieve a sale.”
Employees helpline number 020 7213 8767 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors:
On Monday 23 March, Rob Lewis and Zelf Hussain of PwC were appointed as joint administrators of Laura Ashley Holdings plc (“ Laura Ashley” or “the Company”, its key trading subsidiary Laura Ashley Limited, Premier Home Logistics Limited, Laura Ashley Investments Limited, and Texplan Manufacturing Limited (collectively “ the Group”)). At the time of administration on March 23, 70 stores were closed and 77 remained open. After further government restrictions were introduced later that day re: shops selling non-essential goods, all 147 stores were then temporarily closed.
On 31 March the joint administrators confirmed to 1669 store employees that they would be furloughed with immediate effect. On the same date, the joint administrators implemented a redundancy programme for 268 employees across a number of head office and back office functions.
On 22 April 2020 the sale of the Laura Ashley brand did not include staff transfer or purchase of stores.
It is currently anticipated that all stores will reopen (when guidance permits) for a period of time, either because selected stores form part of a sale of the business or to sell through the stock on hand.
Press release 31 March
Update on Laura Ashley Holdings plc - and certain subsidiaries - in administration
Press release March 23
Laura Ashley Holdings plc- and certain subsidiaries - in administration
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Manager, media relations, PwC United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)7483 434951
Manager, Media relations, PwC United Kingdom
Tel: +44(0)7841 468 245