No buyer for East yet, chain to close unless late bid emerges

It looks like womenswear chain East will close, barring any 11th hour, rescue bid, with administrators having so far failed to find a buyer.


The company was one of the highest profile failures this year but there had been hopes that up to 300 jobs could be saved and the chain continue. However, in the absence of a bid, it will cease trading on May 4.

The company had already made 27 staff redundant immediately after its January administration filing. Creditors are owed over £10 million.

City AM reported Tuesday that administrators at FRP Advisory has received at least three approaches for the business but had been unable to find a viable buyer. 

However, it seems that a last-minute sale of the entire business, or part of it, is not out of the question. 

"Discussions are still ongoing and we continue to explore avenues for a sale to secure the best possible outcome for all parties," a spokesperson told the newspaper.

The company has continued to trade since January in order to maximise its stock value and maintain its brand reputation in the event of a sale.

But even if a late buyer is found, some stores will certainly close with the lease on its Reigate store having been sold last month and another 12 stores also scheduled to be shut.

It would be East’s second failure in three years with its previous administration filing having seen it closing 19 stores.
The company was acquired at that point in a pre-pack administration deal by East Lifestyle, but that firm was lossmaking from day one.

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