Edinburgh Woollen Mill has pulled out of the bidding process for Peacocks.
Edinburgh Woollen Mill which owns women’s fashion retailer Jane Norman, was among four parties that had made it through second round bids for the 700-store strong value fashion chain, currently in administration.
KPMG is appointed administrator.
It is understood that Edinburgh Woollen Mill decided to scrap its interest in Peacocks because it was no longer a suitable proposition for the specialist clothing retailer, despite being “very interested” in the value clothing chain initially.
The move whittles the number of bidders vying for the collapsed retailer down to three.
Textiles tycooon Alshair Fiyaz is also understood to be one of the final three parties bidding for Peacocks, after teaming up with Danish investment fund Solstra Capital.
A petition to save Peacocks, devised by staff and customers has now gathered 27,000 signatures.
Peacocks staff wrote to the KPMG last week, insisting that any future owner be “a practical and sensitive employer who cooperates with the rank-and-file, recognising its social responsibilities and construct a sound financial structure” for the operationally-profitable firm. They have also asked that the firm’s Welsh headquarters and distribution centres remain in Wales.
Edinburgh Woollen Mill and KPMG declined to comment.