Retail restructuring specialist GA Europe is among those bidding to take control of greetings card chain Birthdays, which parent Clinton may sell.
A sale of Birthdays, which has not made a profit since Clinton acquired it for £50m in 2004, is being mulled as part of a group-wide strategic review instigated by Darcy Willson-Rymer, who joined as chief executive last autumn.
GA Europe would buy Birthdays to initiate a turnaround. It would likely draw on the expertise of Milton Guffogg, GA’s European operations director and a former chief executive of the Celebrations greetings card chain.
Clinton, which is being advised by Ernst & Young on the potential sale of Birthdays, issues half-year results next week. However, it is unclear whether a decision about Birthdays’ future will have been reached by then – the strategic review is scheduled to continue until the end of April.
Birthdays was previously put through a pre-pack administration in 2009, when it unloaded 136 unprofitable shops, and now has 140 stores.
At present GA is running Fenn Wright Manson stores and concessions while a going concern buyer is sought by the fashion retailer’s administrator, Zolfo Cooper.
No comment was available from Clinton or GA Europe.