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Majority of TM Lewin’s stores may close if pre-pack goes ahead

Sadiyah Ismailjee
29 June 2020

SCP Private Equity has reportedly drafted in restructuring experts for shirtmaker TM Lewin, which could result in the closure of the majority of its 66 retail stores.

The private equity house acquired TM Lewin last month and had already appointed commercial property consultants from Cedar Dean to negotiate with landlords.

According to The Sunday Times, restructuring firm ReSolve has been hired for the British menswear retailer to shift its focus to online, with very few retail stores, and also to secure rent cuts.

If a pre-pack administration deal does take place, this move could place hundreds of jobs at risk.

TM Lewin CEO Sven Gaede left the business earlier this month in the aftermath of the sale, along with CFO Marc Lombardo.

SCP, which is led by Simba Sleep co-founder James Cox and backed by former Asda boss Allan Leighton. The team also includes former Harrods managing director Paul Taylor and two-time FTSE 100 Chairman Michael Jackson.

It has established an investment vehicle called Torque Brands with the aim of acquiring a portfolio of British brands, which will be powered by one centralised shared services platform.

A growing number of retailers have been re-acquired by their owners through a pre-pack deal during the COVID-19 pandemic as they seek to find a viable future.

Recently the retail arm of fast fashion brand QUIZ was acquired in a pre-pack, while Monsoon Accessorize owner Peter Simon bought back his business which he is in the midst of restructuring taking Monsoon primarily online and focusing on the re-opening of Accessorize stores.

Last week JD Sports bought its outdoor apparel and equipment chain Go Outdoors in a pre-pack deal which it said would preserve as many of its jobs as possible. It has said it will retain the majority of its stores but is in negotiations with landlords.

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