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New dawn lifts the cloud over Mosaic

Aurora, which means new dawn, is an apt name for the new business made up mostly, but not exclusively, of the former Baugur-backed Mosaic Fashions businesses.

Chief executive Derek Lovelock, with the backing of Icelandic bank Kaupthing, led the Aurora team which bought Karen Millen, Oasis, Coast, Anoushka G and Warehouse out of administration this week, thus securing their future.

But while it is a new era for those businesses, for Shoe Studio Group and Principles, the two parts of Mosaic not to form part of Aurora, it could be more a case of a homecoming.

Footwear business Shoe Studio Group has been reunited with its former chief operating officer John Egan, who is now chief executive at footwear chain Dune, which bought the group this week.

There is still a chance that Principles might also end up in the hands of a former owner. Ex-Rubicon Retail chief executive Peter Davies, who bought Principles from Arcadia in 2002 and sold it to Mosaic in 2006, was attempting to buy the womenswear chain as Drapers went to press, but said he was struggling to get a proposal together within the time frame set by Mosaic’s administrator Deloitte.

However, a mystery bidder is believed to be circling and Deloitte says it is committed to sell as soon as possible.

A deal for this final piece of the jigsaw would bring welcome relief from the stress of recent months to employees and management alike.

However, it is not over for everyone; the first thing Aurora did on completing its deal was to appoint property consultant Harper Dennis Hobbs to negotiate the future of the store portfolio. For the retail landlords, the stress could be just beginning.

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