// Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group landlords attack administration proposals
// The group filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators from FRP Advisory earlier this month
// Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group is seeking to push through a pre-pack administration
Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group (EWM) landlords have reportedly criticised the administration proposals outlined by representatives of the fashion group, owned by billionaire Philip Day.
EWM filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators from FRP Advisory earlier this month to advise it on its restructuring.
The group, which owns Peacocks and Bonmarche, is seeking to push through a pre-pack administration that will mean Day will retain ownership of the group.
EWM wrote in a letter to landlords that the company and its “proposed 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”, Property Week reported.
The letter also said that a “rationalisation plan has been formulated and will be implemented immediately, which will result in the closure of over 50 stores within the next few days and it is anticipated that a further 100 – 150 stores will be closed during the next fortnight”.
Meanwhile, 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’ response also said that “other fashionwear groups have negotiated fair and appropriate concessionary rent arrangements with their landlords”.
Moreover, Ratcliffes Chartered Surveyors added that his landlord clients reject EWM’s proposals for the stores in question.
The letter concluded with Ratcliffe asking EWM to “kindly arrange for the shop keys, together with the alarm keys, details and codes, to be sent by recorded delivery to our offices forthwith”.