Cotswold Outdoor gets CVA approval, moves ahead with store exits

today May 14, 2019
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Creditors have given Cotswold Outdoor owner Outdoor & Cycle Concepts their approval for an insolvency plan, paving the way for four store closures and dozens of rent reductions.

Cotswold Outdoor

The UK’s largest outdoor group, comprised of Cotswold Outdoor, Cycle Surgery, Runners Need and Snow+Rock, said the Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA) was approved by more than 97% of unsecured creditors at a meeting on Monday.

The restructuring will see the group close two Cotswold Outdoor in Peterborough and Ipswich, a Cycle Surgery shop in Highbury, and Snow+Rock in Bridgend over the next three months. It will also seek rent reductions for 50 of its 120 stores and shift from quarterly to monthly rent payments.

“We are delighted that our CVA application has been approved by a large majority and would like to thank our suppliers and industry partners for their overwhelming support and commitment to our business,” group managing director Jose Finch said in a statement. He took over the role on 1 April following Greg Nieuwenhuy's resignation as chief executive in March.

“This positive outcome is an important step in our transformation programme to build a stronger future. We will now work hard to activate our proposal ensuring that store closures and job losses are kept to a minimum.”

Like many other British retailers including Debenhams, LK Bennett, New Look and Mothercare, the group controlled by French private equity firm PAI Partners came under pressure over the past year amid declining footfall, weakening consumer confidence and higher business costs.

The challenging retail backdrop meant that the company’s pre-tax losses widened from £6.7 million to around £13 million in the year ended December 2018, according to media reports.

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