Updated: Kaupthing confirms it has called off sale of Oasis, Warehouse and Coast
Icelandic bank Kaupthing has confirmed that is has called of the potential sale of high street fashion chains Oasis, Warehouse and Coast.
The bank, which took control of the businesses following the collapse of previous owner Baugur in 2009, called in PwC at the start of this year to advise on strategic options for the businesses including a potential sale.
It is understood that a number of parties had shown interest in buying the businesses, with reports that Indian investor Emerisque Brands and Edinburgh Woollen Mill owner Philip Day were among the potential bidders, however Kaupthing has withdrawn the businesses from sale.
A strong first half of trading, particularly from Oasis, has led the bank to believe it can realise greater value by retaining the brands and continuing to invest in them. Investment has been made in IT and e-commerce sales have increased 18.5% in the first half of this year. It is also planning to continue with investments in physical stores with 24 new stores and concessions planned for the UK and Europe in the 2017/18 financial year.
In the first half of the year the group, fuelled by Oasis, delivered like-for-like sales up 4.9% in the first half. During the last financial year Oasis achieved an EBITDA performance of £11.9m, up from £8.7m in the previous year.
Kaupthing CEO Paul Copley said: "We have been in a sale process for the last few months and can confirm today that we have withdrawn from that process. We feel that the market does not currently recognise the value we see in the businesses. We are under no pressure to sell the brands and we look forward to working with their management team to generate value for our stakeholders.”