Barclays hires adviser to review troubled Alexon

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Barclays, the main lender to Alexon, has appointed an accountancy firm to review the troubled fashion group, as it mulls takeover offers.

Barclays has hired Grant Thornton as adviser to conduct an independent business review (IBR) of Alexon, which has issued three profit warnings in the past 12 months.

An IBR is commonly requested by a lender when a financially challenged company is exploring its options. The appointment of Grant Thornton follows Alexon saying it had received takeover approaches on 5 September, as it "continues to actively explore a number of options for a more appropriate capital structure".

Alexon – which operates six brands, including Dash, Eastex and Kaliko – said it was reviewing a possible offer for its "issued capital". However, another option Alexon is thought to be considering is selling certain brands to raise cash. The group hired a restructuring team at KPMG last week.

Those known to be interested in Alexon include Hilco, the retail restructuring firm, Rutland Partners, the private equity turnaround specialist, and Jacques Vert, the fashion group that also targets older women.

As of 29 January, Alexon had debts of £8.7m but its finances are likely to have deteriorated since then due to its weak trading.

All parties contacted yesterday declined to comment.