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Who will buy crisis-hit fashion businesses?

Droves of distressed retailers are seeking buyers to save them, as the coronavirus pandemic tightens its grip on a high street that was already struggling before lockdown. TM Lewin and footwear chain Office are looking for buyers; Monsoon/Accessorize is also mulling a sale as a possible coronavirus survival strategy.

Cath Kidston, and Oasis and Warehouse Group had appointed advisers to initiate sales before both businesses collapsed into administration earlier this month. Cath Kidston’s shareholder, Baring Private Equity Asia, later bought the online, franchise and wholesale business in a pre-pack deal, resulting in the closure of all stores and more than 900 redundancies.

Industry insiders tell Drapers many more retailers will be considering putting themselves up for sale as the pandemic pushes businesses to the brink. Desperate times call for desperate measures – retailers left struggling for cash have little choice but to pursue a potential sale.

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