Orla Kiely buyer sought, creditors are owed up to £10m
Administrators are trying to generate as much value as they can from failed Orla Kiely and are seeking a buyer for the company that collapsed owing millions of pounds.
The firm’s parent company Kiely Rowan announced a voluntary liquidation filing on September 17, closing down its standalone stores, as well as its webstore and wholesale business. But UK company law allows creditors to choose an administration process if they believe that will generate maximum value for them and this is what has happened.
Quantuma has been appointed by Orla Kiley’s creditors and Quantuma partner Christ Newell said that a "significant number" of creditors are owed up to £10 million in total, The Telegraph reported.
“It could potentially still be rescued if someone wants to buy it,” he said. “Nothing is off the table. I would be interested in speaking to anyone that is interested in buying any assets of the company. At this stage we are safeguarding the assets to the benefit of creditors.”
Those creditors, which include banks, suppliers, retailers, and former employees are unlikely to get all of their money back. And that news was a particular blow to the firm’s staff. They were told the company was closing down last Monday and that they wouldn’t be paid for the previous three weeks so would have to file for redundancy. They were then immediately escorted from the building.
“Our job is to engage with all stakeholders and get the best out of [a] bad situation,” Newell added. “My role is to realise the assets and maximise the returns to creditors as well as investigate the affairs of the company.”
Despite falling profits, the company’s last set of filed results in the spring showed rising sales and that it was profitable, albeit by less than in the prior year.
Analysts have said that the company was over-ambitious in its flagship store strategy and that opening a store in outlet mall Kildare Village suggested it could have been over-producing. It has also been said that its licensing strategy failed to exploit the highest quality opportunities but over-exposed the brand at the same time.
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