Is Philip Day looking to buy back Bonmarché?
A new filing suggests that Philip Day, one of Britain’s wealthiest high street fashion moguls, could be gearing up to buy Bonmarché back out of administration.
The fashion brand for the over-55s collapsed into administration, putting almost 2,900 jobs at risk, earlier this month after a sustained period of challenging trading conditions and cashflow pressure.
It came shortly after Philip Day, through his holding company Spectre, acquired a major stake in the business, taking his ownership to 95%.
He lost control of the company when it fell into administration, with administrators at FRP taking over to assess options for the future of the business.
But according to the Sunday Times, Day provided a loan and credit facilities to Bonmarché in August in exchange for security over its assets, which put him in a prime position to buy it back.
The billionaire retailer, who has earned a reputation of rescuing distraught retailers from administration, could take advantage of the collapse by reacquiring the fashion brand, shorn of debt and lease liabilities.
Bonmarché employs nearly 3,000 people, including 200 staff at its head office in Wakefield, and operates 318 stores.
Day’s investment vehicle Spectre and Edinburgh Woollen Mill group provided the loans, which will have to be repaid by Bonmarché’s new owner once a deal has been agreed.
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