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Li & Fung buys May Trading

May Trading UK, clothing supplier to high street multiples including Primark, Next and Topman, has been acquired by global supply group Li & Fung following its fall into administration.

LF Europe, a division of Li & Fung Ltd, has acquired certain assets from the liquidators of May Trading including the existing order book, some finished stock and certain IP rights.

May Trading is now one of three companies sitting under LF Europe’s private label European Apparel Group (EAG). The other two are London-based manufacturer Just Jamie and Visage, which has a head office in South Shields, Tyne & Wear. Both design and produce womenswear, menswear and kidswear.

Drapers understands the majority of sales and merchandising staff from May Trading have moved across to work for the new owners, including co-founder Jason Marchant. May Trading’s sister company MA Hong Kong was also bought as part of the deal.

As first reported by Drapers, May Trading and MA Hong Kong, which were co-founded by Marchant and his business partner Robert Au, went into administration on October 31 after millions of dollars were allegedly stolen from their Bangladesh factory.

The money was reportedly stolen by a shareholder and director of Marchant and Au’s Dhaka factory AMCS. The exact sum has not been disclosed.

Marchant said customers have been “very supportive”, appreciating the circumstances behind the administration.

Fung Group has a history of snapping up UK suppliers and brands. Trinity Limited, part of the Fung Group through the Fung Retailing arm, acquired Gieves & Hawkes in April 2012; and Fung Capital, the private equity partnership of Li & Fung honorary Chairman Victor and group managing director William Fung, acquired Savile Row brands Hardy Amies in 2008 and Kilgour in September 2013.

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