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Coast bought out of administration by Karen Millen

Karen Millen has bought Coast through a pre-pack administration, Drapers can confirm. 

Coast appointed Mike Denny, Ian Green and Zelf Hussain of PwC as joint administrators of Coast Holdings Limited, Coast Retail Limited and Coast Fashions Limited on 11 October.

Karen Millen bought the retailer’s UK concession portfolio, online business and franchise stores, saving 600 jobs.

Coast’s 24 standalone stores and international concessions were not part of the deal and have closed. It is thought around 300 jobs have been impacted.  

Coast gift cards and returns will continue to be honoured. 

Denny said: “The businesses had been facing financial difficulties due to structural challenges in the retail space and specifically the concession partner market, as well as a softening of demand for occasion wear.

“This sale puts the ongoing business on a firmer financial footing. Karen Millen will be working with the existing management team to continue to grow and develop the new business.

“Regrettably, other parts of the business including 24 retail stores were not included in the transaction. We will make every effort to help those employees in parts of the business that were not included in the sale and will support those affected at this difficult time by liaising with the Redundancy Payments Service and Job Centre Plus.”

Beth Butterwick, CEO of Karen Millen, added: “We are excited to be welcoming over 600 Coast employees to the Karen Millen family. With its beautiful fabrics, stunning colours and signature designs, Coast is a much-loved fashion brand that has dressed women for all occasions since 1996. Our expertise and infrastructure puts us in a unique position to create a lean and profitable business, ensuring it remains a thriving destination in department stores and online.”

Coast is owned by Aurora Fashions, which also owns Oasis and Warehouse.

Aurora is owned by Icelandic bank Kaupthing, which also owns Karen Millen. 

Coast was owed more than £931,000 by House of Fraser when it fell into administration in August. 

In Coast’s most recent financial results for the year to 25 February 2017, the retailer completed the final year of its three-year turnaround plan. EBITDA was £2.7m, up from a loss of £300,000 the year before, while sales were up 4.9% on 2016 to £79.4m. 

Readers' comments (6)

  • Some creepy accounting practise? Same owner?

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  • Agreed! How is this legally possible......

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  • Prepacked administration?

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  • I smell a rat! Once again the suppliers will lose out. How can the government continue to let such behaviour continue??

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  • So it's bought itself out of administration then?

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  • Dodgy as.

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