LK Bennett creditors owed more than £31.9m despite sale

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LK Bennett’s first bricks-and-mortar store which opened in 1990 will close its doors on October 29. Linda Bennett founded the company after investing £13,000 of her savings and a £15,000 bank loan to open the store.
LK Bennett products will be available in stand alone stores across London as well as Ely's department store.
// LK Bennett owes HMRC over £1.9m
// EY estimates £600,000 is available to be distributed among all unsecured creditors

More than three months after LK Bennett was acquired by its Chinese franchise partner Rebecca Feng, the retailer owes its creditors £31.9 million – of which HMRC is owed over £1.9 million.

According to statement of proposals posted by EY at Companies House, the administrators said LK Bennett’s UK and Irish creditors are owed more than £31.4 million, with an estimated £600,000 available to be distributed among all the unsecured creditors.

BY EY’s estimates, LK Bennett’s preferential creditors are owed £26,000, in respect of claims for employees’ salaries, holiday pay and pension contributions. 

LK Bennett appointed EY as administrators for its UK business back in March.

In April, LK Bennett’s administrators completed a sale of its UK and Irish business to Byland UK Ltd, a newly formed UK entity set up by Feng and Ying Ling Kam.

While the sale saved 388 jobs for the retailer, it also resulted in the closure of 15 lower-performing stores.

Employees working in those stores did not transfer over to Byland, resulting in 100 redundancies.

LK Bennett did not immediately respond to requests from Retail Gazette for comment.

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