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Calvetron Brands goes into administration

Calvetron Brands Ltd, owner of Jacques Vert, Precis, Dash and Eastex, has appointed administrators for the second time in less than a year, putting 1,408 jobs at risk.

Benjamin Wiles, Philip Duffy and Trevor Birch of Duff & Phelps have been appointed joint administrators to Calvetron Brands, as previously mooted by Drapers.

The business has around 300 concessions and employs a total of 1,408 people – 997 in the UK, 155 in Ireland and 256 in Canada.

The business is continuing to trade while the administrators look for a buyer.

Calvetron Brands last appointed administrators on 2 June 2017. At the time Harold Tillman headed a consortium of investors in buying the business, then known as Style Group Brands, in a pre-pack administration deal.

Tillman left his position as strategic adviser to Calvetron Brands in December.

Former CEO of Calvetron Shaun Wills left the business in October after two years at the helm. He was this week appointed as interim finance director for clothing and home at Marks & Spencer.

The business was originally founded in 1972 by Jack Cynamon and Alan Green, two tailors from the East End of London.

Wiles said: “Calvetron Brands Ltd (CBL) has been trading a number of well-known brands including Jacques Vert, Precis, Dash and Eastex and operating here in the UK as well as internationally in Canada, United Arab Emirates and Ireland. Prior to the pre-pack sale it was trading in over 470 store concessions in the UK which, following the sale to CBL, was significantly reduced to its footprint today of around 300 store concessions. These stores include Debenhams, House of Fraser, and M & Co, as well as some independent store concessions. We are continuing to trade the company while reviewing the options to sell the business as a going concern.”

Duffy added: “Inflation and wage freezes have been major concerns for many fashion retailers and have been a driving force behind decreased spending. However, CBL has also been carrying a number of legacy issues dating back to the acquisition of the assets and business of Style Group Brands, resulting in a high cost base relative to its turnover. In the difficult retail environment we are facing today CBL simply could not restructure its cost base quickly enough or create the necessary economies of scale to succeed.”

Peter Ridler, CEO of Calvetron Brands, said: “Everyone at Calvetron Brands has worked with energy and determination to achieve the turnaround that was needed. However, a combination of four brands that needed time and investment, against a backdrop of extremely difficult trading conditions on the high street, rising costs and low customer confidence has meant that we haven’t been able to achieve this within the timescales required.”


Readers' comments (2)

  • I think the investors in calvetron failed to put in the required working capital hence starved of cashflow for new stock, things quickly spiraled downhill. Not sure if these brands have any future :-(

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  • When a company goes into administration, the administrators have to consider the viability of the business. Understandably they will also want to recover monies due to the company in administration.

    But Jacques Vert faces a special situation. Given House of Fraser’s upcoming cva, it could well be that Calverton Brands’ administrators may struggle to obtain the monies generated by Jacques Vert’s concessions in House of Fraser.

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