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Private equity firms enter Jane Norman rescue talks

Private equity firms Sun Capital Partners and Better Capital are understood to be the latest potential buyers to enter rescue talks with struggling womenswear chain Jane Norman.

Sun Capital is in talks with Jane Norman’s lenders, led by the Royal Bank of Scotland, about buying the debt and taking over the 200-strong fashion chain, according to the Independent on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the paper also suggests that Better Capital has joined up with the management team behind Aurora Fashions, owner of Oasis, Coast and Warehouse. As reported in Drapers last week, Aurora chief Mike Shearwood is believed to have already met with PricewaterhouseCoppers.

Debenhams is also understood to have held talks with Jane Norman’s syndicate of 15 lenders, although any deal with the department store chain, which has a change of ownership and control clause for Jane Norman’s concession, would be dependent on stock levels, which are reported to be running low. It has acquired womenswear chain Principals and Faith, the footwear chain, in recent years but both deals depended on their ability to keep trading.

Sun Capital is believed to be interested in Jane Norman because it owns 64-strong Dutch department store chain V&D, which houses profitable Jane Norman concessions. If its bid is successful, Jane Norman could continue without the Debenhams’ business in the UK, instead concentrating on its European outlets and UK high street stores.

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