Buyer found for Bonmarché

Published Monday, 23 January 2012
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Fashion chain Bonmarché, which was part of the Peacocks Group, has been bought by a private equity group, in a deal expected to trigger more than 1,000 redundancies.

Sun European Partners bought the entire chain, apart from three stores, out of administration for an undisclosed sum.

It is expected the firm's decision to continue to run 230 stores but close 160 means around 1,4000 job losses.

Bonmarché has 17 stores in Northern Ireland and it has not yet been confirmed which, if any, would close.

The retailer, founded in 1982, was part of the Peacocks Group which last week collapsed into administration under its £750 million debt mountain, placing 9,600 jobs in jeopardy.

Administrators KPMG took control of Peacocks, but Bonmarché avoided the measure in order to continue sale talks.

Chris Laverty, joint administrator at KPMG, said: "Given the hostile conditions on the high street, we're pleased to have concluded a sale with Sun European Partners.

"The deal is a positive step forward in underscoring Bonmarché's future."

Sun, which is ultimately based in the US, will also take on Bonmarché's head office in Wakefield, West Yorkshire.

Its vice-president, Matthias Gundlach, said it was working with current management to put "a sustainable growth programme" in place.

He added: "Bonmarche is a great brand that operates in an attractive niche of the apparel sector that we know very well.

"Thanks to its strong range with a good value-for-money proposition and a unique in-store service experience, Bonmarche has a loyal customer base of regular repeat buyers."

© UTV News
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