// Laura Ashley’s main shareholder in talks to raise £20m from lender Wells Fargo
// The retailer said it will “consider all appropriate options” if it is unable to secure a deal
// MUI Asia was not considering putting cash into the company to keep it afloat
Laura Ashley has confirmed that it will “consider all appropriate options” if it is unable to secure a deal to borrow additional cash from its lenders to meet funding requirements.
The fashion and lifestyle retailer confirmed its main shareholder, MUI Asia, is in talks with Wells Fargo to unlock more of the £20 million loan arrangement it has with the US lender after the bank tightened its purse strings.
Laura Ashley negotiated a £20 million loan from the bank last year.
However, restrictions on how much it can draw on this money have come into force as the retailer’s stock and customer deposits have dropped.
- Laura Ashley CEO Kwan Cheong Ng steps down
- Laura Ashley joint operating chief Sean Anglim resigns
- Laura Ashley suffers full-year loss of £14m as homeware “underperforms”
During the last six months of the year, Laura Ashley’s sales fell almost 11 per cent to £109.6 million.
The retailer said MUI Asia was not considering putting cash into the company to keep it afloat.
“We acknowledge that recent trading conditions, in line with the overall UK retail market, have indeed been challenging,” chairman Andrew Khoo said.
“There is, however, a robust plan in place to turn the business around and the board of directors is confident and optimistic that the recent appointment of Katharine Poulter [as chief executive] will enable the business to execute this broad-based strategy.
“The major shareholders have indicated their continued confidence in the business and are fully supportive of the management team and execution of the transformation plan.”
with PA Wires