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Cruise bought out of administration

Designer mini-chain Cruise has been bought out of administration by its existing management team.

Accountancy firm Deloitte was appointed administrators of the retailer today and the business was immediately acquired by a newly formed company called Cruise Fashion.

Cruise managing director John Heath and Cruise finance director Iain Baird are directors of the new company.

A store in Chester, a Sale shop in Leicester and a store in Birmingham have closed today and management are conducting a review of the remaining 17 stores to determine which will continue to trade.

The retailer collapsed into administration after finding itself in financial difficulties after store expansion at the end of 2008. According to Cruise, the expansion was set to be funded by Icelandic investment firm Kcaj, but as a result of the Icelandic economic crisis, Kcaj was unable to inject the funding, putting the retailer under significant strain.

A Cruise spokeswoman said that management had conducted a thorough search for a buyer for the business, but was unable to find one, and so restructured the business via administration.

John Heath teamed up with Arev, the investment firm set up by Jón Scheving Thorsteinsson, the former Baugur UK chief executive, to buy Cruise, for an reported £7 million in 2006.

The retailer, which sells brands including Burberry, Armani and Chloe, was founded in Edinburgh in 1981.

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