// The British Property Federation slams Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group’s administration proposals
// The federation said wealthy UK business owners are “manipulating and abusing” insolvency rules
// Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators FRP Advisory earlier this month
Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group’s (EWM) administration proposals have reportedly been condemned by the British Property Federation (BPF).
In a letter from representatives of the group, EWM said administrators are reviewing its lease portfolio with a view to determining which stores – if any – may be “retained and/or potentially transferred by the company”.
The letter also said that a “rationalisation plan has been formulated, which will result in the closure of over 50 stores within the next few days”.
- Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group to shutter over 50 stores as landlords reject proposals
- Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group calls in administrators, putting 24,000 jobs at risk
The BPF’s chief executive Melanie Leech said that anyone reading the letter should be “outraged”, Property Week reported.
Leech added that wealthy business owners are “manipulating and abusing” the UK’s insolvency rules.
EWM, which owns Peacocks and Jaegar and is owned by billionaire Philip Day, filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators FRP Advisory to advise it on its restructuring earlier this month.
Day is seeking to push through a pre-pack administration that will see him retain ownership of the group.
On Thursday, property group Ratcliffes Chartered Surveyors, which manages four retail properties leased to The EWM Group, wrote in response to the letter that “it is the intention of the EWM directors to place this previously very profitable company into administration”.
The response stated that Ratcliffes Chartered Surveyors and its clients are “surprised by this decision in respect of a company which reported pre-tax profits for the year to November 2019, of £23.4 million, and for the half year to March 2020, of £14.7 million”.
Ratcliffes Chartered Surveyors said its landlord clients reject EWM’s proposals for the stores in question.