Retailers Oasis, Warehouse and Coast 'up for sale'

Mon, 28 Nov 2016 | BUSINESS SALE

Administrators for the collapsed Icelandic bank Kaupthing are eyeing a sale of a clutch of British high street retailers including Oasis, Warehouse and Coast.

According to Reuters, sources familiar with the situation say Kaupthing, which collapsed in 2008 during Iceland’s financial crisis, could generate under £100 million for a sale of the three brands.

Administrators are also considering options for the Karen Millen brand, it was reported. Combined, the companies employ thousands of people.

The bank bought the fashion brands in 2009 from Mosaic Fashions, which went into administration as a result of Iceland’s financial crisis.

Reykjavik-based Kaupthing was nationalised during the meltdown, with all non-Icelandic assets staying with the now defunct bank.

Sources said the sale of the brands might pique interest from private equity funds. Kaupthing could face a tough sell, though, with recent research from Kantar showing the UK’s fashion market has suffered its steepest drop in sales since 2009.

Over the past few years Oasis and Warehouse have hired new executives and launched new websites and logos as part of a revamp strategy.

Kaupthing did not respond to requests for comment and the retailers were not immediately available for comment, Reuters added.

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