Global supply group Li & Fung is in talks to acquire May Trading UK, clothing supplier to high street multiples including Primark, Next and Topman, after its fall into administration, Drapers understands.
It is believed May Trading’s sister company MA Hong Kong will also be bought as part of the deal.
May Trading and MA Hong Kong, which are co-owned by Jason Marchant and Robert Au and are based in London’s King’s Cross and Hong Kong respectively, went into administration on October 31, after millions of dollars were allegedly stolen from their Bangladesh factory.
As reported by Drapers last week, the money was reportedly stolen by a shareholder and director of Marchant and Au’s Dhaka factory AMCS. The exact sum is not yet known.
At the time, Marchant said the majority of staff will go with the business in the deal, but it is understood redundancies have been made.
One source told Drapers: “They have kept 10 people on in the business [so far], but it depends on what Li & Fung decide to do [with May Trading]. Li & Fung has a good menswear business of its own, so they will be selective on what areas they need if the deal goes ahead.”
Another source said Li & Fung, a member of the Fung Group, was likely to keep the business in London. It is understood that all parts of the business- shirting, outerwear and trousers- will continue to function as normal.
Fung Group has a history of snapping up UK suppliers and brands. In February 2010 Li & Fung bought Visage, which has its head office in South Shields, south Tyneside, and designs and produces womenswear, menswear and kidswear for retailers that are understood to include Asos.com, New Look, Dorothy Perkins and Next
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 chairman Victor and group managing director William Fung, acquired Savile Row brands Hardy Amies in 2008 and Kilgour in September 2013.
Marchant declined to comment on the acquisition.