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Published
Jun 3, 2019
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Karen Millen reportedly up for sale, any deal would include Coast

Published
Jun 3, 2019

Fashion chain Karen Millen is considering a sale after having had a number of unsolicited takeover approaches with Deloitte reportedly having been called in to review the options available to the retailer.


Karen Millen


It’s easy to see the chain’s appeal. Despite seeing both ups and downs in recent years, Karen Millen is one of the best known womenswear names in UK physical retail with a strong business in the occasionwear sector and the wider smart day and eveningwear sectors. 

But on the downside, in the year to February 2018, it made a pre-tax loss of £9.5 million on sales of £161.9 million.

It’s controlled by Kaupthing, one of the Icelandic banks that suffered massively in the financial crisis a decade ago, but it’s unclear at present how much the bank would be able to recoup if a sale does happen. Any deal is likely to be several months away, according to a Sky News report.

Karen Millen employs round 1,700 and has 57 of its own stores, as well as numerous department store concessions. 

One factor to take into account is that any sale would also include the Coast brand. Karen Millen bought the brand out of administration last October and closed its standalone stores, also making redundancies at its own head office as it launched a review of the two operations. The Coast buy added another 600 people to the payroll.

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