Agent Provocateur ‘on brink of administration’

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 | ADMINISTRATION

Lingerie brand Agent Provocateur could be heading for administration after suffering poor sales and accounting problems, reports say.

According to the Guardian a pre-pack administration is regarded as one of the most sensible options for the business.

Potential buyers are thought to include private equity house Lion Capital and investment firm Alteri, with Sky News listing French fashion brand Etam and British chain Sports Direct as also interested.

It’s thought that its current owner, private equity firm 3i, is looking for around £30 million for the brand, which was founded by Joe Corre, the son of designer Vivienne Westwood, and his ex-wife Serena Rees.

Agent Provocateur has been hit by a number of problems and last year 3i wrote down the value of its 80 per cent stake in the brand by £39 million. The owner is said to have been exploring sale options since last year.

Sky News reported that AlixPartners has been appointed as principal adviser on the sale process, replacing investment bank Rothschild.

Last year, 3i said Agent Provocateur had been "impacted by declining luxury spend in a number of its key markets", the effect of which had been exacerbated by "the inconsistent execution of its recent store expansion programme and the discovery of accounting issues".‎

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