The administrators of Internaçionale are confident it will continue to trade for “months, rather than weeks”, after positive initial talks with staff, suppliers and landlords.
Drapersonline.com revealed last Friday that Internaçionale had entered administration, appointing PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC)’s Bruce Cartwright, Lyn Vardy and Toby Underwood.
The administrators immediately moved to start discussions with interested parties, seeking to maintain relationships in order to trade for as long as possible.
This week Cartwright told Drapers that conversations so far had been “reasonably healthy”.
“We have been setting out our stall – we want to realise as much stock as possible, to ensure a better return for creditors, so to do that we have to make arrangements for future stock supplies, as well as working with landlords, and of course employees.
“It’s clearly our preference to trade for longer. If people are not willing to play ball that would make it difficult, but at the moment our intention is to proceed to realise stock over a matter of months rather than weeks,” he said.
Cartwright was unable to comment on whether suppliers and landlords would be likely to receive any of the debt accrued prior to the administration – as unsecured creditors they typically fall into a lower-priority category than secured creditors.
However, he said any new arrangements reached with PwC would be honoured separately. Landlords stand to benefit from the recent ‘pay as you trade’ ruling, and staff will similarly be paid throughout the period.
Cartwright was also unable to put a figure on the amount of debt owed by Internaçionale, saying his focus was initially on bridge building.
“We have an idea of debts based on ledgers, but we are asking people to write in with claims against the company, to bring the ledgers up to date,” he said.
However, sources have previously put unsecured debt at around £12m, while reports suggest restructuring specialist Jason Granite acquired around £35m. Catherine Neilan