All Saints’ sale deal with M1, a Beirut-based business co-founded by the likely next Lebanese Prime Minister, has collapsed. However US investment firms Goode Partners and MSD Capital are understood to have stepped up their interest in buying the young fashion chain.
Sources close to All Saints told Retail Week that the M1 deal had been derailed after its investors developed nerves about the retail sector as a whole. M1 already owns French fashion chain Faconnable, which sources told Drapers had experienced challenging trading in recent months.
A source close to the situation said that a deal was still likely to be completed within the next week and that Goode Partners and MSD Capital had now become frontrunners. There are thought to be another two investment firms waiting in the wings to make offers if the Americans also pull out.
Kaupthing, the now defunct Icelandic bank which owns a significant stake in All Saints, is expected to pump more cash into the business if a deal is not finalised imminently. It originally agreed to offload its shares in the business but is understood to be prepared to hold on to them if the need arises. “Kaupthing would never let the business go into administration,” said one well-placed person.
All Saints is understood to be trading flat on a like-for-like basis in the UK and Europe. This time last year the retailer reported like-for-like uplifts of 38%.