Suppliers and landlords to footwear retailer Brantano UK, which went into administration in January, may only get 3p back for every pound they are owed, it has emerged.
Tony Barrell, Mike Jervis and Rob Hunt of PwC were appointed as joint administrators on January 21. The firm owed unsecured creditors £18.8m, including £4.3m to trade suppliers, £1.1m to Revenue and Customs, and a further £5.1m to secured landlords.
Total assets available after secured creditors are paid are thought to amount to £2m and an estimated £600,000 will be available to distribute to unsecured suppliers and landlords. This amounts to 3p in the pound.
However, the administrators said it is “currently not possible to make estimates of the likely final dividend prospects for unsecured creditors with any degree of meaningful certainty”.
One supplier told Drapers he expected Brantano to negotiate with those brands it hopes to continue working with: “When the dust settles [after an administration], serious conversations with the supply base begin. Brantano needs the support of its historical suppliers, as credit insurance will be hard to get, so new brands won’t be forthcoming.
”They need that ongoing support to keep product coming into stores and they won’t have it unless an amicable agreement is in place.”
In February Alteri Investors – which initially bought Brantano in October 2015 for €17m (£12.2m) – bought the majority of the firm out of administration for £7m, saving 81 stores, 59 concessions and 1,372 jobs. The sale excluded 57 stores and one concession.
Five offers were made for the company before Alteri’s bid was accepted. The payment included £5.9m for stock.
At the time of the administration, secured creditor Alteri Europe was owed £10.7m. It has since been repaid a total of £9.1m.
Following the administration Brantano told Drapers it was now “well placed for future development”, and both it and sister company Jones Bootmaker – which was unaffected by the administration – are “well funded and are able to move forward on a solid strategic, operational and financial footing”.
In 2015 Brantano made a pre-tax loss of £4.6m, although sales rose by 6% to £100m. Jones, which has 110 shops and 13 concessions in the UK, made a pre-tax profit of £315,000 for the year to December 31 2014. It made sales after exceptional items of £79.9m.
Brantano declined to comment.