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Exclusive: East CEO steps down as business is sold

Fabindia, the owner of East, has sold an 80% share in the womenswear retailer to New York-based investor Rahul Kakar of Crore Capital, Drapers can reveal.

East’s chief executive, Suzi Spink, has decided to leave the business as a result. Kakar will take on the role of executive chairman.

East entered administration in June last year, later blaming an “inconsistent” approach to design for its heavy losses.

A new company called East Lifestyle bought certain parts of the business back in a pre-pack deal worth £3.4m. East Lifestyle’s sole shareholder is Indian retailer Fabindia, which has been a majority owner of East since 2012.

More than 550 employees were transferred across to the new company last year, but 156 were made redundant as a result of the closure of 19 stores and five concessions.

On her decision to step down, Spink said: “I am pleased we have been able to successfully restructure East and attract further investment to help the brand reach its potential.  I am proud of the work we have done to put the business back on track and secure its future.”

William Bissell, managing director of Fabindia, said: “We would like to thank Suzi for her contribution and place on record our appreciation for her leadership.”

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