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Hobbs and Phase Eight vying to buy Fenn Wright Manson

Fashion retailers including Hobbs and Phase Eight are understood to be amongst the throng interested in buying Fenn Wright Manson out of administration.

It is thought that if bought the womenswear retailer, which was placed into administration this afternoon, is likely to continue as a concession-only business.

A source close to the company said a buyer for the stores was unlikely in the current environment. Trading at its concession and wholesale business is understood to have performed well whilst sales in its own stores have deteriorated.

Fenn Wright Manson currently operates from 17 stores and within 62 concessions in stores including John Lewis and House of Fraser.

Indian supplier business SKNL, which was thwarted in its attempt to buy Peacocks last month, is also thought to be interested in the retailer.

Fenn Wright Manson appointed Zolfo Cooper as administrator today. The business will continue trading whilst the administrator explores options, including a sale.

The retailer employs 348 staff across the UK. It was acquired by private equity firm Darwin in October 2010.

Fenn Wright Manson was unavailable for comment while Zolfo Cooper declined to comment.

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