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AllSaints Lebanese deal off: new suitors in the wings

AllSaints’ sale deal with M1, a Beirut-based business co-founded by the likely next Lebanese Prime Minister, has collapsed. However US investment firms Goode Partners and MSD Capital are understood to have stepped up their interest in buying the young fashion chain.

Sources close to AllSaints told Drapers that the M1 deal had been derailed after its investors developed nerves about the retail sector as a whole. M1 already owns French fashion chain Faconnable.

A source close to the situation said that a deal was still likely to be completed within the next week and that Goode Partners and MSD Capital had now become frontrunners. There are thought to be another two investment firms waiting in the wings to make offers if the Americans also pull out.

Kaupthing, the now defunct Icelandic bank which owns a significant stake in AllSaints, is expected to pump more cash into the business if a deal is not finalised imminently. It originally agreed to offload its shares in the business but is understood to be prepared to hold on to them if the need arises. “Kaupthing would never let the business go into administration,” said one well-placed person.

AllSaints is understood to be trading flat on a like-for-like basis in the UK and Europe. This time last year the retailer reported like-for-like uplifts of 38%.

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