The private equity owner of men’s shirt specialist TM Lewin has put the retailer up for sale despite its store estate being closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Bain Capital, the private equity group that has backed TM Lewin through its debt investment arm since 2015, has asked interested bidders to submit their offers this week, Sky News has reported.  

The bidding auction will be run by corporate finance firm Alantra and comes as Bain Capital is keen to offload the business which has been hit hard by the coronavirus lockdown. 

Due to the pandemic, TM Lewin has placed around 650 of its 700 team members on furlough under the government job retention scheme. The remaining workers continue to run its online operations and supply chain.

TM Lewin’s announcement places it alongside a string of struggling fashion retailers exploring new options due to the impacts of coronavirus. Oasis and Warehouse turned to administrators this week, putting 2,300 jobs in jeopardy, while troubled department store chain Debenhams liquidated its Irish arm and appointed administrators for the second time in 12 months.

Truworths International, the South African owner of Office, has also put the footwear retailer up for sale.