Department store chain calls in Kroll to oversee sale of the business
Ailing department store chain Allders has gone into administration this evening. The retailer announced that it has appointed Kroll as its administrator after a desperate fight to find a buyer for the chain.

A statement from Kroll said that the stores will continue to trade as normal, while it considers all the options for the chain. Selling the retailer as a going concern has still not been ruled out..

Property group Minerva put the chain up for sale last month, and Debenhams and House of Fraser are among rival retailers understood to be interested. However, no front-runner was forthcoming as the deadline passed on Tuesday.

Kroll will now try to find buyers for the chain in an effort to recoup money owed to creditors of more than£60 million. Kroll partner Andrew Pepper said: 'Several parties have already expressed interest in the business and this level of interest so early makes us hopeful that a going concern sale can be achieved.'

The collapse of the business will come as a severe blow to Allders chief executive Terry Green, who was brought in to turn the retailer around following its acquisition by Scarlett Retail, the consortium headed by Minerva and financial group Lehman Brothers in 2003.

The group operates 45 stores and employs 7,000 staff, many of whom will be anxious to find out whether anyone can be found to underwrite the company's pension scheme.