// TM Lewin’s owners begin a sales process of the menswear retailer business
// Bain Capital enlisted corporate finance firm Alantra to run the auction
// Interested parties have been asked to submit offers for TM Lewin this week
TM Lewin’s owners have reportedly kickstarted a sales process of the business, making it the latest retailer to seek a new buyer amid the coronavirus pandemic.
According to Sky News, Bain Capital – the private equity group which has backed the heritage menswear retailer through its debt investment arm since 2015 – was keen to sell the retailer and has enlisted corporate finance firm Alantra to run the auction.
Interested parties have reportedly been asked to submit offers for TM Lewin this week.
- Office urgently seeks new owner
- 202 immediate job cuts as Oasis & Warehouse files for administration
- Thousands of Debenhams jobs at risk after new High Court ruling
TM Lewin trades from 66 stores in the UK and five in Australia.
Approximately 650 of its 700-strong staff have been furloughed under the UK government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, as the stores remain temporarily closed during the pandemic.
The 50 staff not furloughed are involved in TM Lewin’s digital operations and supply chain.
The retailer has declined to comment.
TM Lewin is not the first retailer to seek new funding through a sales process since the coronavirus crisis escalated last month.
Yesterday, news emerged that footwear retailer Office was seeking a new owner urgently after it reportedly hired Alvarez & Marsal to run an accelerated sale process.
Cath Kidston is also seeking a new buyer and filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators last week to give it some protection as pandemic exacerbated its trading issues.
Meanwhile, an immediate 202 jobs have been made redundant at the Oasis and Warehouse group after it filed for administration yesterday afternoom.
A further 1800 staff remain at risk after they were furloughed as a result of the lockdown.
However, Laura Ashley was the first coronavirus-linked high street casualty last month after its administration saw it cut 268 jobs and shut 70 stores.
In addition, Debenhams officially filed for administration last week, making it the second time within a year that it had taken this kind of insolvency process.
Debenhams said the decision to enter administration was aimed at protecting the business from the threat of legal action from creditors, which could risk pushing the retailer into liquidation while its 142 UK stores remain closed due to the government-mandated lockdown.
However, thousands of jobs at the department store chain may now be at risk after the High Court yesterday ruled that its administrators could be liable for furloughed staff’s full wages.