Oasis and Warehouse owner planning sales despite COVID-19 lockdown: Sky News

Icelandic owner Kaupthing is considering selling UK-based clothing retailers Oasis and Warehouse and has hired Deloitte to help review a disposal, Sky News reported.

Without citing sources, the broadcaster observed that a sales process has already begun and the lender has held conversations with potential buyers in the last few days.

The possible sale comes despite the continued spread of the coronavirus, with the UK government ordering all non-essential retailers to close their doors earlier this week.

A spokeswoman for Kaupthing told Sky News that like all businesses operating in these unprecedented times, the group is trying to work through the circumstances following the Covid-19 outbreak.

She added Oasis and Warehouse are strong brands that have attracted interest from strategically aligned parties.

Talks are still ongoing but there is no guarantee they will lead to a deal at this time, the spokeswoman said.

Kaupthing sold Karen Millen and Coast to BooHoo for GBP 18.00 million last year.

The group previously explored a sale of Oasis and Warehouse in 2017.

At the time, the Telegraph reported Emerisque Brands was in exclusive talks to buy the retailers from Kaupthing in a GBP 60.00 million deal.

Sky News cited people close to the two fashion chains as saying their performance has improved since Hashim Ladha, a former executive at Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia Group and Asos, took the helm, but prospects have been derailed by the pandemic.

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The broadcaster observed that Laura Ashely has entered into administration and Cath Kidson is also said to be exploring a sale.

Zephyr, the M&A database published by Bureau van Dijk, shows there were 39 deals targeting clothing store operators announced worldwide in 2020 to date.

In the largest of these, Sycamore Partners Management agreed to buy a 55.0 per cent stake Victorias Secret Stores Brand Management for USD 525.00 million.

© Zephus Ltd

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