TM Lewin to close all UK stores in pre-pack administration

Wed, 01 Jul 2020 | ADMINISTRATION

Shirtmaker TM Lewin will close all 66 of its UK stores as part of a pre-pack administration deal engineered by SCP Private Equity. The administration follows SCP’s acquisition of TM Lewin from Bain Capital through special purpose acquisition vehicle Torque Brands in May, which we covered here.

SCP says that TM Lewin will continue to operate online, where it generated over 30 per cent of its revenue last year. However, a statement from Torque stated: “The business is unable to sustain current rental agreements for its store network across the country. This has forced our hands to focus on a radical overhaul of the business model.”

"The Torque team has worked to assess all available avenues for the business model going forwards, but having done so, has formed the view that TM Lewin is no longer a viable going concern in its current format," Torque added.

"The decision to significantly reduce the scale of the business in order to preserve its future will regrettably result in job losses at TM Lewin, as a direct result of the closing of the store network as we right-size the business."

The administration will result in around 600 redundancies among the company’s 700-strong staff. With stores closed during the coronavirus pandemic, 650 of TM Lewin’s workers have been furloughed, with around 50 continuing to work on the company’s digital operations and supply chain.

In its most recent accounts, to the year ending February 23 2019, TM Lewin reported strong growth in its online business, led by an upgrade of its web platform and said it had made investments in its product range.

At the time, the company reported EBITDA of £6.58 million, up from £5.2 million the year prior, and turnover of £121.8 million, slightly up from £120 million in 2018. Its net assets were valued at £73 million, with fixed assets of £14.5 million.

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