Lloyds Banking Group, the main lender to AllSaints, has appointed accountancy firm KPMG to advise on its options should the young fashion chain fail to attract a buyer in the next week.
Talks between AllSaints and a consortium including the Beirut-based business M1, co-founded by the likely next Lebanese Prime Minister, collapsed on Wednesday.
Sources close to the situation told Drapers that an administration of AllSaints would be a “last resort” for the business which “remains profitable and attractive to investors”.
It is understood that M1, which owns French chain Facconable, pulled out of the sale process after being spooked by the state of the retail sector.
US investment firms Goode Partners and MSD Capital have stepped up their interest in buying the business but it is understood that Goode Partners’ valuation is short of the reported £140m price tag given to it by AllSaints’ Icelandic investor, nationalised bank Kaupthing.
Kaupthing, which owns a significant stake in AllSaints, is expected to pump more cash into the business if sale talks collapse altogether. It originally agreed to offload its shares but is understood to be prepared to keep them if the need arises. “Kaupthing would never let the business go into administration,” said one well-placed person.
There are thought to be another two investment firms waiting in the wings to make offers if the Americans also pull out.