• Austin Reed Group files notice of intention to appoint administrator 
  • Primary and secondary lenders Wells Fargo Capital and Alteri Investors named on notice 
  • Austin Reed appointed Alix Partners to assess company’s financial position and options earlier this month

Premium fashion retailer Austin Reed has filed a notice of intention to appoint an administrator, Retail Week can reveal.

The struggling fashion retailer has lined up Alix Partners to handle the potential administration. It was already working with the turnaround consultancy firm, after appointing it to assess its financial position and options less than two weeks ago.

The notice to appoint an administrator was filed on April 18, according to documents seen by Retail Week.

Alteri Investors acquired a large stake in the business, which is now part-owned by secondary lender Alteri and primary lender Wells Fargo Capital, just days ago.

Alteri acquired the retailer’s loan notes and shareholder capital from Darius Capital. Austin Reed is the most recent in a line of beleaguered UK retailers that the private equity group has invested in.

Alteri Investors chief executive Gavin George said on Monday: “We decided to acquire the equity and shareholder loans to protect our position as secondary lenders to Austin Reed, behind Wells Fargo who remain senior lender.

“We will work with [chief executive] Nick Hollingworth, [finance chief] Alan Charlton and Alix Partners, who have been engaged by management to examine Austin Reed’s financial position and strategic options.”

Austin Reed has struggled in recent years. Over the past 12 months the 116-year old retailer has undergone a CVA, shuttered 31 of its stores and is selling its 35,000 sq ft Regent Street flagship.