Chinese company close to securing LK Bennett acquisition
Byland UK, a company established by one of LK Bennett’s Chinese suppliers, is understood to be closing in on a deal to buy the collapsed brand out of administration.
The newly incorporated UK company established by Rebecca Feng is one of several firms bidding for the womenswear brand, which fell into administration putting 500 jobs at risk earlier this year.
Byland has reportedly made the highest-value offer, and is aiming to secure a takeover deal by the end of this week, Sky News reported.
LK Bennett has been controlled by administrators at EY since early March after it failed to find new investors in a bid to raise fresh funds. Favoured by Kate Middleton, and British celebrities including Holly Willoughby, Charlotte Hawkins and Donna Air, the brand ran into trouble in what has been one of the toughest years for UK retailers.
The collapse has put the future of LK Bennett’s 39 UK stores and 37 concessions into doubt and it remains unclear how many of these stores would be included in a potential sale. The company has already closed five stores, but industry sources told Sky News that only a handful of the remaining standalones were commercially viable.
Meanwhile in the US, LK Bennett’s US business filed for bankruptcy last week.
Founded by Linda Bennett nearly 30 years ago, LK Bennett trades from 200 stores in the UK and overseas. It posted an operating loss of £5.9m in the year ended 29 July 2017.
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