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Buyers are poised to fight it out for troubled Hawkshead

Outdoor clothing retailer Hawkshead is being eyed by at least three industry buyers, after going into administration because of stock delays and mail order failures.

Asher Miller, joint administrator at insolvency firm David Rubin & Partners, which was appointed two weeks ago, said three suitors had discussed offers for the £12 million-turnover, 20-store chain and 10 other parties had expressed an interest.

"Hawkshead would benefit from a retailer that already manages mail order, because much of its profit comes through managing its call centre, warehousing and logistics," said Miller. "An established operator could restore it to profitability."

Buyers have until Wednesday to bid for the business, which is set to close just one shop. Despite "insufficient financing and severe technical difficulties" with its mail order database, the home shopping arm will remain intact. Miller said the situation was compounded by delays in new stock orders.

Hawkshead was bought by clothing importer Cavden Group in conjunction with a private equity firm last August.

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