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Canterbury Europe in administration

The European arm of casualwear brand Canterbury has gone into administration, hit by the weak sterling and its expansion into new sports categories.

Administrators at KPMG, who were appointed yesterday, are hoping to find a buyer for the business, which has the UK licence for the brand, and has a raft of stockists in the UK including House of Fraser, as well as sponsorship deals with numerous rugby league and rugby union teams in the UK and Europe, as well as football and cricket clubs. Its sponsorship deals have already been terminated.

“This administration has been the culmination of difficult trading, following a period in which Canterbury Europe had unsuccessfully tried to expand into new areas.”

David Costley-Wood, partner, KPMG Restructuring

Some 72 of the brand’s 86 staff, who are based in Stockport, have been made redundant. However the business will continue to trade.

Canterbury Europe has sales of £30 million annually and debts of around £60m.

The rest of the Canterbury Group, which is based in New Zealand, is unaffected by the administration. However it too is thought to be seeking a buyer or some investment.

Joint administrator David Costley-Wood, partner at KPMG Restructuring, said: “This administration has been the culmination of difficult trading, following a period in which Canterbury Europe had unsuccessfully tried to expand into new areas. The company has also been hit by the weakening of the pound, as it imports its goods from the Far East.”

He added: “The European business will continue to trade under the administration whilst we try to find a buyer for the business and assets. The global brand and trade marks are not affected by the administration of the European business and we understand that the owners of the Canterbury Group are looking for a potential acquirer or new investor to lead the next stage of Canterbury’s development.”

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