Troubled lingerie chain La Senza has been sold to the UK division of Middle Eastern trading house Alshaya following a pre-pack administration.
Alshaya UK, part of the Kuwait-based group which operates franchises for several fashion retailers including H&M, Next and Oasis, has acquired 60 of La Senza’s UK stores from administrator KPMG which was appointed earlier today.
As a result of the pre-pack deal 1,100 jobs at La Senza in the UK are expected to be saved.
The remaining 84 La Senza stores will close with immediate effect along with 18 concessions resulting in the loss of around 1,300 jobs. The 84 stores include the 81 stores that La Senza had already announced that it would close in places including Cambridge, Exeter and Newcastle plus a further three stores at, as yet, undisclosed locations.
Alshaya already operates three La Senza franchise stores in Russia for Limited Brands, the Canadian owner of the La Senza brand name worldwide.
Alshaya group chairman Mohammed Alshaya said: “We are delighted to have reached agreement to buy these La Senza stores - saving jobs, protecting a great brand for consumers and strengthening our UK presence and links.
“This is a strategic investment for us and a positive addition to our extensive international retail portfolio.”
Richard Fleming joint administrator at KPMG added: “We are delighted that we have been able to rescue part of La Senza UK and such a large number of jobs, given the negative economic pressures faced by retailers in the UK.”
On December 14, La Senza, which was previously owned by Dragons’ Den entrepreneur Theo Paphitis before it was sold to private equity backers Lion Capital in 2006, called in KPMG to mull over a series of restructuring options, including administration.
Just over a week later on December 23, La Senza filed notice of its intention to appoint an administrator with KPMG being formally appointed today.
Property agent Harper Dennis Hobbs is handling any store disposals for KPMG.