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Kcaj to stave off administration

Icelandic investment fund Kcaj, which has a majority stake in Cruise and Duchamp, is on the brink of a deal with creditors to stave off administration.

However, it is still considering options to sell off stakes in its UK businesses, which also include minority stakes in Mountain Warehouse and Jones Bootmaker.

Askar Capital managing director of corporate finance Bjarki Brynjarsson told Drapers he expects Kcaj to have “a stronger plan” about the future of its stakes in the next two weeks.

Representatives of Milestone-owned Askar Capital, which effectively manages Kcaj and its investments, have been in talks with Deloitte for the last few weeks to discuss options for the fund, which could have included administration, as revealed by Drapersonline on January 8.

Brynjarsson said a deal was very close to being finalised with Kcaj’s three main creditors; Askar Capital, and Icelandic investment banks VBS and Straumer. He said: “We are reaching an agreement with creditors at the moment. It is unlikely Kcaj will go into administration. We may well sell off certain assets. We are considering options for the companies, it is an ongoing process.”

Some of Kcaj’s investments are understood to have been impacted by the reduction in available funding from local banks, which had provided facilities for the companies for many years.

Brynjarsson said he is proactively working with the companies to come up with the best solution going forward. He said: “We will support the companies and make sure they continue as businesses.”

Kcaj was set up by former Baugur director Jon Scheving Thorsteinsson.

It also owned menswear tailoring business Hardy Amies and womenswear chain Ghost, which both went into administration in October. The future of Blooming Marvellous, a maternitywear chain owned by Kcaj, has also been questioned in the last few weeks.

A statement about the deal with creditors is expected to be released by the end of this week.

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