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Creditors approve CVA for Ben Sherman and Jeff Banks licensee Baird Group

Tom Bottomley
12 August 2020

The creditors of menswear business Baird Group – the licensee for brands including Ben Sherman, Jeff Banks and Suit Direct – have approved the proposed company voluntary arrangement (CVA) put forward by the business on 23 July 2020.

The proposal, handled by KPMG’s Restructuring practice, was put forward in in light of the dramatic impact on trade caused by the COVID-19 lockdown, the administration of Debenhams and the ongoing challenges in the retail markets.

Baird Group operates the tailoring concession at Debenhams stores and online, with brands including Ben Sherman, Jeff Banks, Racing Green, Hammond & Co, Occasions and The Collection.

The CVA restructuring will result in 264 redundancies across the retail and distribution teams, mainly those servicing the Debenhams business. Baird is removing staff from its Debenhams concessions, though it has said it is not exiting Debenhams.

The CVA divides the company’s store portfolio into two groups. A total of 29 stores will see a reduction and phased rebuild of base rent, while a further 18 stores, one warehouse and one office are closing immediately.

A three-year plan has been formulated to refocus on the company’s core retail outlets – Suit Direct and Ben Sherman – the continued growth of its wholesale business, and further expansion of its online business.

Mark Cotter, CEO of Baird Group, said: “The support of the CVA from our creditors is a critical step in our wider turnaround plan, enabling us to lay the foundations for a successful future with a renewed focus on our core online channels and outlet stores.”

Baird Group needed to secure at least 75% creditor approval by value for the CVA for it to proceed.

Howard Smith, associate partner at KPMG and joint nominee of the CVA, added: “The vote saw approximately 94% of all voting creditors choosing to approve the CVA, surpassing the 75% total required in order to pass the resolution.”

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