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What the weekend newspapers said: Baugur special

The best of the news headlines and commentary about the collapse of Baugur from the weekend newspapers…

The Sunday Times said that Icelandic bank Kaupthing was planning a financial restructuring of Oasis and Karen Millen parent company Mosaic Fashions, after unveiling plans to take full ownership of the business.

Accountancy firm Deloitte is expected to advise Kaupthing, and BDO Stoy Hayward is acting for Mosaic Fashions. Kaupthing plans to inject new cash into Mosaic Fashions, according to the newspaper.

The Sunday Times also reported that private equity firms Permira, Sun Capital Partners and Alchemy were thought to be interested in parts of Baugur.

The Mail on Sunday reported that Baugur founder Jon Asgeir Johannesson and chief executive Gunnar Sigurdsson had struck a deal with Icelandic bank Landsbanki keep to remain on the board at four of the group’s businesses including House of Fraser, to ensure continuity. The positions will net Johannesson around £20,000 a month plus perks, according to the newspaper.

The newspaper also reported that Sir Philip Green, former Asda chairman Allan Leighton, Theo Paphitis owner of Rymans stationary chain and star of TV’s Dragon’s Den and former Matalan chief executive Angus Monro were all understood to be looking at opportunities to buy Baugur’s assets.

The Observer reported that a fire sale of Baugur’s assets would save little more than 10p in the pound for creditors according to accountancy experts. A report by PricewaterhouseCoopers is understood to have estimated that a sale of Baugur’s portfolio would raise just 25 billion Kronur (£150m). Baugur founder Jon Asgeir Johannesson told Icelandic TV that the estimate was wrong and that the brands were “extremely valuable”. He added that he thought a forced sale would happen. He said: “There is nothing else ahead as these firms cannot have a bankrupt bank as a shareholder for a long time.”

According to The Sunday Telegraph, retail entrepreneur Kevin Stanford is likely to try and buy Baugur’s 35%stake in fashion chain All Saints. Baugur bought its stake in All Saints stake in 2006. However Stanford retained a majority stake.

The Sunday Express said that private equity firms Permira and Bridgepoint had joined the list of potential bidders for Baugur’s stakes. The paper said that the private equity firms were interested in minority shareholdings in some of the brands within Mosaic Fashions.

The Sunday Express also said that Debenhams, which stocks some of Mosaic Fashions’ brands, is also looking at the group’s assets with part-owner private equity firm Texas Pacific Group.

The newspaper also said that Sir Tom Hunter, who heads private equity group West Coast Capital, had heldtalks with House of Fraser chairman Don McCarthy about them buying Baugur’s 35% stake in the department store.

Readers' comments (1)

  • So "Jon Asgeir Johannesson and chief executive Gunnar Sigurdsson had struck a deal with Icelandic bank Landsbanki keep to remain on the board at four of the group’s businesses including House of Fraser, to ensure continuity."

    Where will this leave the rest of the Head Office staff - will they just carry on as normal or will it be a two man show with a PA?

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