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Indie Austique's assets sold – but creditors could lose out

The company assets of womenswear independent Austique have been sold to FC Fund Managers, after the two-store London business went into administration.

The 10-year old retailer, which has stores in Notting Hill and Chelsea, appointed Asher Miller and Henry Lan of David Rubin & Partners as joint administrators on September 9. A sale of the business had previously been sought in August but it was deemed not possible “for a solvent sale to happen”, triggering the administration.

Its stock and stores were sold on September 19 to FC Fund Managers, the investment firm headed by restructuring specialist Jason Granite that took over Internaçionale before it went into administration in February.

The Notting Hill store at 79-81 Ledbury Road closed at the end of August but the Chelsea store at 330 King’s Road continues to trade, with FC Fund Managers reportedly in discussions with staff about its future.

Miller told Drapers there are approximately 100 creditors, many of which are suppliers, and they are owed about £500,000 in total. He suspects the creditors’ recovery on the debt will be “limited”.

Austique stocks premium labels such as Goat, MiH Jeans and Christophe Sauvat, alongside its eponymous own label.

One creditor told Drapers she was owed a “substantial” amount. “They set up a slow payment plan in April as they couldn’t afford to pay the full bill at once then they defaulted in July. That set alarm bells ringing. I know a lot of suppliers are in a similar situation.”

One brand agent added: “We had our account cleared before they went into administration thankfully, but there will definitely be people left in the lurch. It’s dreadful.”

The business was founded by Katie Canvin, who now runs unrelated lingerie brand Cheek Frills. Canvin stepped back from the day-to-day running of the business in January and her management took over, led by managing director Rachel Morris.

 

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