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Calvetron confirms appointment of administrators

Lauretta Roberts
04 May 2018

Calvetron Brands, the owner of the Jacques Vert, Dash, Eastex and Precis brands, has confirmed the appointment of administrators today putting around 1,400 jobs in jeopardy.

The appointment of Duff & Phelps confirms news from yesterday that their arrival at the concession-based womenswear business was imminent.

This is the second time in a year that the brands have been placed into administration. Last June the then Style Group Brands was placed into administration and some 17 standalone stores were culled along with a number of concessions.

Calvetron Brands Limited bought the brands, which have around 300 concessions in the UK in stores such as House of Fraser, Debenhams and M&Co, in a pre-pack deal. Calvetron was backed by investors Sandeep Vyas and Haseeb Aziz with former Jaeger owner Harold Tillman as strategic adviser. Tillman, however, left the business at the end of last year.

Philip Duffy of Duff & Phelps said the business had been hit by a downturn in consumer confidence and spending (and it is understood it has been hit by the downturn in trading at House of Fraser and Debenhams) and issues dating back to the buyout from Style Group Brands.

"Inflation and wage freezes have been major concerns for many fashion retailers and have been a driving force behind decreased spending. However, [Calvetron] has also been carrying a number of legacy issues dating back to the acquisition of the assets and business of Style Group Brands, resulting in a high cost base relative to its turnover. In the difficult retail environment we are facing today [Calvetron] simply could not restructure its cost base quickly enough or create the necessary economies of scale to succeed,” Duffy said.

Calvetron Brands CEO Peter Ridler, who arrived at the business from White Stuff last October, said: “Everyone at Calvetron Brands has worked with energy and determination to achieve the turnaround that was needed. However, a combination of four brands that needed time and investment, against a backdrop of extremely difficult trading conditions on the high street, rising costs and low customer confidence has meant that we haven’t been able to achieve this within the timescales required.”

For now, the business remains trading while Duff & Phelps looks to secure another buyer.

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