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.