// Card Factory given an extra month to negotiate with lenders to avoid breaching banking covenants on a £200m loan
// It previously warned it was set to breach the loan rules
Card Factory has been given an extra month to negotiate with lenders to avoid breaching banking covenants on a £200 million loan.
Bosses had warned the retailer was set to breach the loan rules by the end of the month following a plunge in sales during the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, Card Factory said this morning that its lenders would provide a waiver to the expected breach until February 28 while talks continue.
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“We remain in constructive discussions with our banks, and have agreed a process to continue to explore a range of potential solutions, with scope for further extensions to the waivers as this process continues,” it said in a statement.
Earlier this month, the greeting cards retailer revealed that sales fell by 38.1 per cent after its stores were forced to shut completely for 37 per cent of potential trading days because of lockdowns.
Its online channels performed “strongly” over the 11 months to the end of 2020, with cardfactory.com reporting 137 per cent growth in like-for-like sales, while its trade sales grew by 63 per cent.
The retailer said at the time that it expected to report a pre-tax loss of about £10 million for the year, compared with a profit of more than £65 million in the previous year.
Card Factory’s announcement came less than 24 hours after rival card-seller Paperchase secured a rescue deal which will save around 1000 jobs and the most of stores after tumbling into administration.
However, it’s understood at least 27 of its 127 stores would shut their doors permanently and up to 250 jobs will be made redundant.
Administrators revealed that newly formed company Aspen Phoenix Newco, which is backed by Permira Debt Managers, is to take control of the high street retailer.
Meanwhile, online competitor Moonpig is gearing up for a stock market listing later this year in a move expected to value it at more than £1 billion after posting a 135 per cent sales jump in the six months to October as the pandemic drove more customers online.
with PA Wires