Private equity firm Lion Capital has bought 100% of the long-term debt of La Senza, after months of uncertainty over the lingerie retailer’s future.
The deal gives Lion Capital control over both La Senza’s debt and equity. Lion Capital claimed the deal provides a solid financial base for La Senza’s continued development.
It follows reports earlier this month that Lion was seeking funding to save the chain. Reports also said that Lion Capital had broken the terms of its loan agreement with GSO Capital and owed the credit manager tens of millions of pounds.
Lion Capital is the controlling shareholder of La Senza and previously owned 40% of the £100m debt it used to buy the mid-market lingerie retailer from entrepreneur Theo Paphitis in 2004.
Lion Capital said today that La Senza had a successful 2009 Christmas trading period with positive growth in both like-for-like sales and margins versus the 2008 period.
Lion Capital partner Robert Darwent said: “In 2009, La Senza achieved meaningful increases in its profitability and cash generation in a retail environment that has remained challenging. The company is now in a strong financial position from which to continue our growth plans for the business in 2010 and beyond.”