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La Senza owners moot rescue deal

La Senza owner Lion Capital is understood to be seeking funding to save the struggling lingerie chain.

Private equity investor Lion Capital bought La Senza from entrepreneur Theo Paphitis in 2004. The group currently owns 40% of the £100m debt it raised to buy the mid-market lingerie retailer and is understood to be in talks to buy back more debt after breaking the terms of its bank loans.

According to The Times, Lion Capital broke the terms of its loan agreement with GSO Capital and owes the credit manager tens of millions of pounds. However, GSO Capital has reportedly agreed to wait for the results of La Senza’s Christmas trading update before pushing the group into administration.

Last week it was also rumoured that Paphitis was considering buying back the lingerie chain. Having originally bought La Senza for £1 in 1998 before selling it six years later, Paphitis is understood to be considering making another £1 bid for the chain. Paphitis left the board of La Senza in May but still owns a 10% share in the company.

La Senza marketing director Lisa Bond played down rumours of financial difficulties at La Senza and said: ‘It’s been challenging - it has been for all retailers. But we traded well and based on that we’re happy with our performance.”

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