Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Agent Provocateur begins challenging sale process

Agent Provocateur is set to undergo a turnaround operation devised by restructuring firm Alix Partners before it goes on sale imminently.

Following an accounting scandal late last year, the lingerie retailer‘s value was slashed by £39 million, with the Sunday Times reporting some retail sources now valuing it at as little as £15 million.

An investigation into the accounting mishap has been launched by KPMG and the company has undergone a boardroom reshuffle, including the departure of non-executive chairman Chris Woodhouse.

READ MORE: Agent Provocateur chairman Chris Woodhouse leaves amid accounting controversy

The company‘s recent financial woes have limited the scope of buyers, with prospective investors being put on alert. 

City sources said companies Rutland Partners and Alteri Investors, who specialise in distressed companies, are expected to be interested in making a purchase.

Agent Provocateur was purchased by 3i in 2007 for £60 million. It hired Goldman Sachs in 2014 in an attempt to offload its majority stake for £250 million, but no buyer was found.

Following a failed expansion plan, 3i has invested a further £4 million in the company to deal with the recent struggles.

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