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Mikey on the market for £7.5m

Accessories business Mikey has been put up for sale just 18 months after it was rescued from administration by former New Look director Alan Wood.

Wood told Drapers that he had appointed restructuring specialist BDO Stoy Hayward to lead the search for a buyer for the business, which is run by his wife Lisa Wood, who owns accessories supplier Phase Two.

BDO is understood to have attached a price tag of £7.5 million for the accessories specialist and has approached a mix of venture capitalist and private equity firms, as well as some trade players, about a potential deal.

Wood said he had “tested the market” for potential buyers for the business as recently as two weeks ago, but added: “We’re not negotiating [with anyone] at the moment. Given the economic climate, it may be too soon to find an interested party.”

Wood said he may have to defer a sale for another 12 months, but said he was opento offers. “If someone comes out of the woodwork, we’d definitely consider it,” he said.

It is unclear why Wood has hoisted the For Sale sign over the business he rescued with a consortium of investors, including Mikey founder Michael Waterman, in 2006.

According to accounts filed by Mikey’s parent company Amaranth Accessories, Mikey made a loss of £111,217 for the six months to January 31 2007 – the first six months under Wood’s ownership.

The business has since closed four loss-making stores and now trades from three standalones and eight concessions in the UK, and also has several wholesale accounts. Wood conceded that Mikey was still in “recovery” mode.

The accessories market has been hit by high street clothing retailers introducing own-label jewellery to their stores. Monsoon issued a profit warning last year, which it partly attributed to increased competition against its Accessorize chain.

One accessories supplier said he was not surprised a sale was on the cards. “Mikey is still much the same business it was when the new owners bought it. Nothing has changed and the product is priced too high. There’s a lot of competition and you can get similar products for a third of the price of Mikey.”

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