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Buyers circle Life & Style

SKG Capital, the private equity business, is thought to be the frontrunner to acquire Life & Style which has gone in to administration.

Life & Style, the homewares and fashion business created last year following the administration of womenswear chain Ethel Austin, hit the buffers yesterday after its banks appointed RSM Tenon administrators. It had filed an intention to appoint administrators a week ago in the Manchester High Court.

SKG Capital, headed up by entrepreneur Chris Althorp-Gormlay, is believed to want to run the 150-store business as a going concern, safeguarding the jobs.

It is thought that Life & Style director Elaine McPherson will remain involved in the business should SKG Capital acquire it.

RSM Tenon directors Simon Bonney, Peter Hughes-Holland and Tom MacLennan have been appointed as joint administrators, and have begun conducting an immediate review of the business, during which period the retailer will continue to trade.

Bonney said: “Life & Style has been brought to this situation through poor trading. We are currently looking at all aspects of the business, but with the exception of closures that the business had planned before it was put into administration, stores will remain open for the immediate future.”

Life & Style was formed in March 2010 after McPherson acquired the trade name and assets of Ethel Austin and homewares chain Au Naturale. It was the second time that she had rescued Ethel Austin from administration after it collapsed for the first time in May 2008.

SKG Capital acquired branded young fashion chain Envy out of administration in March last year. It fell in to administration the following month.

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