Bonmarché snapped up for £10m but 1600 jobs to be lost - Business News - Business - The Independent

Bonmarché snapped up for £10m but 1600 jobs to be lost

About 1,600 jobs are to go at Bonmarché after Sun European Partners acquired the plus-size retailer out of pre-packaged administration for £10m yesterday, continuing the private equity firm's buying spree in retail.

The job losses will largely come from Sun European's closure of more than 160 of 394 shops at Bonmarché, the stablemate of the discount chain Peacocks that also collapsed into administration last week. A number of jobs at Bonmarché's head-office in Wakefield will also be jettisoned.

But Sun European is acquiring about 230 of Bonmarché's stores from the administrator KPMG, saving about 2,400 jobs at the value retailer that targets women over 45 years old.

The private equity firm used the controversial pre-packaged administration to wipe out Bonmarché's debt and loss-making stores.

The outlook for Peacocks, which also employed 9,600, is far more uncertain, particularly as it accounted for the bulk of the Peacock Group's £240m of debt. KPMG, which is also handling its administration, made 249 of 515 head office staff redundant last week. KPMG yesterday opened the data room on the value fashion retailer, and Sun European is understood to also be among parties interested in Peacocks.

Other private equity firms, including KKR and Permira, are thought to be weighing up their options for the Cardiff-based chain, as are some trade players, such as Select Retail. However, a substantial number of Peacocks' stores will almost certainly close.

Bonmarché was acquired by Peacocks in 2002. Four years later, the Peacock Group loaded up the company with debt in a £420m buyout that took it private. The deal was backed by two hedge funds, Och-Ziff and Perry Capital, as well as the Wall Street investment bank Goldman Sachs.

But Sun European yesterday struck an upbeat tone on Bonmarché 's future.

Matthias Gundlach, the vice president at Sun European, said: "Bonmarché is a great brand that operates in an attractive niche of the apparel sector that we know very well... Bonmarché has a loyal customer base of regular repeat buyers.

"We are confident in putting a sustainable growth programme in place and working with the management team to develop the business successfully." It is believed that the existing pension schemes for Bonmarche's employees have been protected by the pre-pack deal.

Sun European has made a series of retail acquisitions in recent months that target the lucrative older market, including the fashion group Irisa (formerly Alexon), the golf specialist American Golf, and the female clothing retailer Jacques Vert. Its acquisition of Alexon, which included the Dash, Eastex and Kaliko brands, was also through a pre-pack administration.

News
John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing
News
peopleThe report and photo dedicated to the actress’s decolletage has, unsurprisingly, provoked anger
Property
Home body: Badger stays safe indoors
property
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
The programme sees four specialists creating what they believe are three perfect couples, based on scientific matchmaking. The couples will not meet until they walk down the aisle together
tvUK wedding show jilted
Arts and Entertainment
US pop diva Jennifer Lopez sang “Happy Birthday” to Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, president of Turkmenistan
musicCorporate gigs become key source of musicians' income
Arts and Entertainment
You've been framed: Henri Matisse's colourful cut-outs at Tate Modern
artWhat makes a smash-hit art show
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig believed to be donning skis as 007 for first time
Sport
Mikel Arteta pictured during Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal
champions league
Voices
Yes supporters gather outside the Usher Hall, which is hosting a Night for Scotland in Edinburgh
voicesBen Judah: Is there a third option for England and Scotland that keeps everyone happy?
Arts and Entertainment
Pulp-fiction lover: Jarvis Cocker
booksJarvis Cocker on Richard Brautigan
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke and Pharell Williams in the video of the song, which has been accused of justifying rape
music...and he had 'almost no part' in writing it
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Sales Executive

£20 - 24k (Uncapped Commission - £35k Year 1 OTE): Guru Careers: We are seekin...

Payroll & Accounts Assistant

£20 - 24k + Benefits: Guru Careers: This is a great opportunity for an enthusi...

SQL Developer - Watford/NW London - £280 - £320 p/d - 6 months

£280 - £320 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...

Senior BA - Insurance **URGENT**

£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week