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Marchpole administrators close to rescue package

The administrator of brand house and supply group Marchpole was understood to have received several expressions of interest in the business as Drapers went to press.

Marchpole owns or has the licences for JC de Castelbajac, Emanuel Ungaro, Boateng (the diffusion line for Ozwald Boateng) and Home Body and had its shares suspended last week pending clarification over its financial position. It also owns footwear supplier Greenmark and has a 90% stake in a joint venture deal with DKNY to produce a menswear collection.

Martin Ellis and Andrew Hosking of Grant Thornton were appointed administrative receivers of Marchpole on Monday. Grant Thornton said it was seeking purchasers of the operating companies in conjunction with key stakeholders.

A deal was expected to complete within days as Drapers went to press.

The identity of any potential buyers of Marchpole’s assets and what assets are available is unclear. Sources told Drapers that some of the licences may revert to the brand owner if there was a specific clause in the contract in the event of Marchpole collapsing.

Other sources suggested Marchpole’s executive deputy chairman Michael Morris could look to buy some parts of the business.

Marchpole ran into difficulty earlier this year after losing orders from some of its key customers. It swung to a pre-tax loss of £6.1 million for the 53 weeks to April 5, compared with a £6.3m profit the previous year.

Morris could not be contacted as Drapers went to press.

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