Creditors approve Cotswold Outdoor owner’s CVA

cotswold outdoor CVA
// Outdoor & Cycle Concepts has announced its CVA has been approved by a majority of over 97% of creditors
// Outdoor & Cycle Concepts operates retailers Cotswold Outdoor, Cycle Surgery, Runners Need and Snow+Rock
// As part of the CVA, four stores will close over the next three months and rent reductions will be sought

Outdoor & Cycle Concepts’ CVA proposal has been given the green light by an overwhelming majority of creditors, paving the way for a rent reduction and store closure scheme.

In a statement, O&CC – which operates retail chains Cotswold Outdoor, Cycle Surgery, Runners Need and Snow+Rock – said its CVA was approved by more than 97 per cent of unsecured creditors at a meeting yesterday afternoon.

As part of the restructure, four stores will close will close over the next three months. These include Cotswold Outdoor in Peterborough and Ipswich, Cycle Surgery, Highbury and Snow+Rock, Bridgend.

O&CC said it would ensure that job losses were “kept to a minimum”, with a comprehensive support service implemented to support staff affected by these closures.

Affected staff will also have the opportunity to seek alternative employment within O&CC.

The CVA will additionally seek rent reductions across 50 of O&CC’s 120 stores in the UK.

Meanwhile, the company will continue to trade under the control of the directors, operating as a going concern.

“We are delighted that our CVA application has been approved by a large majority and would like to thank our suppliers and industry partners for their overwhelming support and commitment to our business,” O&CC managing director Josh Finch said.

“This positive outcome is an important step in our transformation programme to build a stronger future.

“We will now work hard to activate our proposal ensuring that store closures and job losses are kept to a minimum whilst continuing to offer our customers unparalleled expert service and the very best products from quality brands.”

Previous reports indicated that O&CC wanted to shift from quarterly to monthly rent across its remaining UK estate, as well exit the Irish market where it operates one store in Dublin.

O&CC’s parent company AS Adventures was also expected to provide increased funding to the struggling retailer on the condition the CVA proposal is approved.

O&CC is also launching a turnaround plan that will see the appointment of a new UK chief executive after Greg Nieuwenhuys’s resignation last month, cost reductions across the business, improvements to its loyalty scheme, and various other initiatives.

The CVA launch and turnaround strategy comes amid widening pre-tax losses for O&CC.

The retailer is expected to report a pre-tax loss excluding exceptional costs of around £13 million for its 2018 fiscal year.

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