The Oasis and Warehouse Group has appointed “Big Four” auditor Deloitte to help conduct a potential sale of the business, amid the coronavirus outbreak.
The group, which is owned by failed Icelandic bank Kaupthing, has been in conversation with potential buyers over the last few days.
Drapers understands the group was not looking for a sale amid its three-year turnaround plan but had been approached by a potential buyer.
Administrators for Kaupthing launched a sale for the group, which then included Karen Millen and Coast, back in November 2016. Kaupthing then opted to withdraw from the sale process in 2017, after the only remaining bidder was Emerisque Brands, a private equity firm.
“Like all businesses operating in these unprecedented times, we continue to work on how we can best navigate through the current challenging circumstances following the Covid-19 outbreak,” a spokeswoman for the company said. “Whilst this remains a key focus for the company, Oasis and Warehouse are strong brands and we have very recently received inbound interest from strategically aligned parties regarding a potential transaction. We remain in dialogue with these parties, but there is no certainty at this stage that this will lead to a transaction.”
Kaupthing was nationalised during Iceland’s financial crisis, between 2008 and 2011. It acquired the brands in 2009 from Mosaic Fashions, which entered administration after shareholder Baugur collapsed.