// Extra administrator appointed to scrutinise Laura Ashley’s pre-collapse finances
// FRP Advisory has been appointed as joint administrators alongside PwC
// The appointment was done at the request of the Pension Protection Fund
A second administrator has been appointed to scrutinise the state of Laura Ashley’s finances before the retailer filed for administration earlier this year.
At the request of the Pension Protection Fund (PPF), FRP Advisory has been appointed as joint administrators alongside PwC.
Previous reports indicated that the UK’s pensions lifeboat authority wanted “a second pair of eyes” to oversee investigations into the events leading up to Laura Ashley filing for administration in March and appointing PwC to oversee the process.
- Laura Ashley CEO among staff made redundant last week
- Laura Ashley scraps further jobs as future is thrown in doubt
- Pensions authority wants another Laura Ashley administrator appointed
The PPF reportedly wanted on FRP Advisory on board due to Laura Ashley’s £50 million pension fund deficit prior to its collapse.
It’s also thought to be looking into the roles played by former directors, such as chief executive Ng Kwan Cheong who stepped down in January.
Gordon Brothers acquired Laura Ashley out of administration in April, in a deal that included the retailer’s global brand, its archives and related intellectual property.
The deal did not include any of Laura Ashley’s 147 stores, nor its manufacturing and logistics operations in the UK or Ireland, and PwC is still seeking a buyer for this part of the business.
Hundreds of job cuts have already been made through various cuts since the administration process began, and speculation is rife that none of Laura Ashley’s physical stores will survive, especially with its debt pile of £162 million.