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East races to secure last-minute buyer

East is set to wind up its operations on 4 May unless its administrators find a last-minute buyer.

This would result in nearly 300 job losses. It follows 27 head office redundancies in February, as revealed by Drapers, after the chain fell into administration for the second time in less than three years.

FRP Advisory, its administrators, said they have failed to find a buyer for the retailer despite receiving at least three approaches.

However, a spokeswoman said discussions for a last-minute sale of all, or part of, the business remain ongoing.

She said: “Currently East Lifestyle Limited is due to cease trading on 4 May, with all employees being made redundant, and 12 leases being transferred to other parties. Discussions are still ongoing and we continue to explore avenues for a sale to secure the best possible outcome for all parties.”

Since the administration process began on 29 January, FRP aimed to continue trading for a period of around 12 weeks to maintain the possibility of selling the business.

According to a creditors’ report filed with Companies House, East’s unsecured creditors are owed £10.1m, of which £6.2m was owed in loans to its shareholders, FabIndia and Crore Capital East Holding.

Savills, which was appointed to market its leasehold properties, sold a lease on a store in Reigate for £75,000 in March. Another 12 stores will close if a buyer is not found.

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