Ethel Austin buy-out saves 1,000 jobs
More than 1,000 jobs at embattled retail chain Ethel Austin were safe today after the firm's previous owner bought it out of administration for a second time.
Elaine McPherson, who rescued the company from collapse two years ago, snapped up 90 of the chain's remaining stores through her new firm Life & Style Retail Limited.
The move comes after administrators MCR announced 700 jobs cuts at Ethel Austin and Au Naturale earlier this month.
Joint administrator Geoff Bouchier said: "This is positive news for the 1,183 employees who were facing an uncertain future.
"We are pleased with the result and believe this is a suitable outcome, especially considering the tough market and the lasting financial pressures from the recession."
MCR today said 41 outlets that are already destined for closure in the next two weeks are not part of the deal with Ms McPherson, which was completed yesterday.
The Au Naturale business is unaffected by the announcement, although administrators said they expect to conclude a sale shortly.
Ms McPherson, the previous chief executive and joint-owner of MK One, pledged to return Ethel Austin to its "former glory" after snapping up the group in May 2008.
But the 76-year-old firm has come under pressure from rival budget chains such as Primark and Matalan, while the financial crisis affected its financing plans.
The business, which has its head office in Knowsley, Merseyside, was founded by Ethel Austin and her husband George Austin in their Liverpool council house in 1934.
- 1 Forget 'The Dress': Here are five of the biggest news stories you might have missed
- 2 The black and blue dress: Makers considering a white and gold version
- 3 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 4 The remarkable archaeological underwater discovery that could open up a new chapter in the study of European and British prehistory
- 5 Saudi Muslim cleric claims the Earth is 'stationary' and the sun rotates around it
Boris Nemtsov shot dead: Outspoken Putin critic who had expressed fears for his life is killed near the Kremlin
PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
White and gold or blue and black – what colour is the dress? An eyewitness gives a definitive answer
Saudi Muslim cleric claims the Earth is 'stationary' and the sun rotates around it
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
Half of Ukip voters say they are prejudiced against people of other races
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
iJobs Money & Business
£40000 - £50000 per annum + pro rata: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...
£30000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established in 1999, a highly r...
£250-£300 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Are you a qualified accountant with strong exp...
£230 - £260 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Do you want to stamp your footprint in histo...