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Retail therapy

 

Retail restructure safeguards jobs at EAST and future proofs trading.

Background

Charles Russell Speechlys has established a strong reputation for recovery and insolvency advice, making us the go-to advisors for top insolvency practitioners, lenders and financial institutions. As a result of having acted in a number of major retail insolvencies in recent years, the team is recognised as having particular expertise in the retail sector.

Therefore, when Geoffrey Bouchier and Philip Duffy of Duff & Phelps Ltd. were appointed as Joint Administrators for E2015 Limited, (formerly known as East Limited) one of the UK’s most well-known contemporary women’s fashion brands, they approached Charles Russell Speechlys.

“I engaged the Corporate Restructuring & Insolvency team at Charles Russell Speechlys to assist in the administration of UK retailer East Limited. I chose the CRS team as they are very responsive, and had the technical skills and commercial awareness needed in this situation. This process resulted in the continuation of trade from 80 stores and concessions and more than 550 employees being transferred to the purchaser. We enjoyed working with them and I would recommend Hanh Nguyen and Aziz Abdul from the Corporate Restructuring & Insolvency for retail administrations.”
- Geoffrey Bouchier, Duff and Phelps, 2017

Approach

The transaction involved the transfer of more than 100 shops and several department store concessions.

We advised the administrators on the prepack sale of East Limited to East Lifestyle Limited.

The team assisted with negotiating the transactional documents, taking into consideration the administrators’ obligations, the terms of various underlying contracts and the practicalities of transferring a national retailer. For example, negotiating the transition of a payment processing facility.

Results

The deal, which was extensively reported in the press, was considered to save approximately 550 jobs across 82 stores and concessions. The restructuring process resulted in the continuation of the viable stores and the safeguarding of the majority of employees and ensured that the business was financially secure for future trading and attract further investment to help the brand reach its potential. A year on, the owner has sold the majority stake to a New York based investor.


For more information please get in touch via hanh.nguyen@crsblaw.com or +44 (0)20 7427 6558.

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