Administrators to British clothing retailer Ethel Austin have sold the brand and 32 of its retail stores to Liric Ltd, a company owned by clothing entrepreneur Mike Basso, it has been announced today.
Restructuring specialists GA Europe recently acquired the debt of Ashloch Ltd, which trades principally as Ethel Austin, and has been running the stores while a suitable buyer is sought as the beleaguered retailer seeks to save hundreds of jobs.
Pending the phased handover of the stores to Liric, GA Europe will continue to run the chain and also manage the closure of stores for which a buyer cannot be found.
This week, high street greetings card specialist Clintons Cards is to close a further 76 stores as administrators Zolfo Cooper failed to find a buyer for the units, although the retailer will continue operating across nearly 400 stores owned by US company American Greetings.
Commenting on the sale, GA Europe’s Chief Executive Gavin George said: “We are delighted that a buyer has been found for the bulk of the Ethel Austin business, following its restructuring and a short spell under GA Europe’s tenure.
“Over the last two years, similar outcomes have emerged from other GA Europe restructurings, including SRG Ltd (“Suits You”), BBS (“British Booksellers and Stationers”) and the department store group TJ.Hughes.
“In each of these situations, our specialist expertise and hands-on approach has been the key to maximising recoveries for creditors while preserving the viable elements of retail businesses, with obvious benefits to suppliers, staff and property owners.”