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La Senza's Williams speaks out about her resignation

Beverley Williams, commercial director of beleaguered lingerie chain La Senza, has responded to reports, saying her decision to leave the business had nothing to do with the appointment of KPMG.

In a statement, Williams, who has been at the helm of the troubled chain, along with finance director Nick Mather, since chief executive Rose Foster left the business in February 2009, said that her departure from the retailer was planned and was agreed with the board back in the summer of last year.

“It is correct that I resigned from the board in early December 2011 with the intention of leaving the business in Q1 2012,” said Williams. “This was agreed with the owners last summer.”

Williams went on to say the reason for her departure was because the company’s strategic options all involved a long term commitment that she didn’t want to make.

“At the board’s request I delayed my exit from the business until Q1 2012 and agreed to remain as a consultant thereafter if that proved necessary,” she added.

On December 14, Lion Capital, the private equity owners of La Senza, called in KPMG to mull over a series of restructuring options for the business including administration.

Later that month on December 23, La Senza filed notice of its intention to appoint an administrator, giving it 10 working days to formally appoint someone.

This 10 working day time limit expires tomorrow (January 10) although it is unclear at this stage whether KPMG will be formally appointed or if La Senza will apply for an extension to this.

According to documents filed at Companies House, Williams’ resignation was received on December 5, prior to the appointment of KPMG.

La Senza was previously owned by Dragons’ Den entrepreneur Theo Paphitis before it was sold to Lion Capital in 2006.

Last week on January 4, a report suggested that lingerie brand Triumph may try and mount a potential rescue bid for the troubled chain but this was unconfirmed and both Lion Capital and Triumph declined to comment.

Readers' comments (1)

  • we went to a meeting at la senza 22nd december. we was told we would be informed of any activity and developments .

    little did we know the application for administration was already agreed and filed for the 23rd december .

    the timing of it all was very coincidential to fall at peak trading period so all money could be recouped before the pre pack administration.

    it also gave suppliers and staff little time to react as most of the time between the 23 and the 3rd of january was taken by holidays and so it was hard to get good legal advice as allot of offices was closed.

    1000 job losses and im sure many suppliers will fold aswell due to the severe debts, its all very hard to take.

    the stench of this administration will linger long for both staff and suppliers for many years .

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