Fashion brand remains hopeful of finding buyer as slump puts 170 jobs at risk
Liam Gallagher’s loss-making fashion brand Pretty Green has said it remains hopeful of finding a buyer to save the business, despite falling into administration in a move that puts more than 170 jobs at risk.
The company, founded by the former Oasis frontman in 2009, has been on the brink of insolvency for the last two weeks. Last month Pretty Green appointed Moorfields Advisory to review strategic options for the future of the business.
Moorfields, which oversaw Toys R Us UK’s insolvency last year, has been appointed as administrators and is on a last-ditch hunt to find a buyer to save all or part of the business. Simon Thomas, a partner at Moorfields, said the brand had a attracted a “large amount of interest”.
“We continue to work closely with Pretty Green’s management and its advisers,” he said. “Following a period of marketing the brand attracted a large amount of interest, so we remain hopeful a deal can be done. The brand has a strong following and it is unfortunate that similar to many other retailers who rely on concessions they have suffered as a consequence of larger department store insolvencies.”
Pretty Green, which has 12 standalone stores, 40 concessions and a wholesale business, will continue trading until further notice.
There have been reports that the brand, of which Gallagher is believed to be the biggest shareholder, had been in conversations with a number of interested parties.
“Pretty Green is not immune to the challenges facing the UK high street as customers migrate from purchasing in store to online,” a spokesman for Moorfields said.
The company took a hit when House of Fraser entered administration in August, owing the brand just over £500,000. The department store was a significant stockist, housing 20 concessions. House of Fraser was immediately bought out of administration by Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct group.
The brand increased sales by 32% to £38.2m last year and it significantly reduced pre-tax losses to £1.5m, after recording a £5.6m loss in 2017.
The accounts show Pretty Green incurred costs of more than £333,000 relating to an abandoned stock market flotation. In 2017 it received an £11m cash injection from the private equity firm Rockpool Investments to help expand the business.