JD makes £4m bid to rescue Faith chain and save 1,700 jobs

The sportswear specialist JD Sports Fashion yesterday made a bid to buy the footwear chain Faith for £4m, which could save the 78-store chain and around 1,700 jobs.

Faith, which also has 120 concessions, mainly in Debenhams, appointed the accountancy firm Mazars last week as administrator after buckling under the weight of its £13m debt. The accountancy firm said it wanted to find a buyer as a going concern for the women’s shoe retailer.

Yesterday, Heath Sinclair, the joint administrator, told The Independent that the deadline for offers to be made is 7 May and that Mazars had sent out 38 non-disclosure agreements, which has resulted in 12 information packs being issued. He declined to comment further.

A board member at JD Sports Fashion, which operates the JD chain, made the £4m bid by telephone on Wednesday to buy Faith out of administration, although a formal offer has not yet been submitted. Sources said that Mazars had not yet responded to JD’s offer.

JD is keen to rescue and build up the Faith chain, as well as safeguard the jobs of staff at the retailer, which was founded in 1964.

A potential rejection of a formal bid from any party to save the Faith chain would cause substantial anger in the footwear sector, which has suffered a series of administrations in recent years.

Before Mazars was appointed last week, JD was one of the last remaining bidders in the frame to buy Faith, which was put up for sale in March.

The restructuring specialist Hilco bought at a discount the debt of £13m that lenders and investors had in Faith and its parent company, FEC Holdings, before Mazars was hired. It is understood that Hilco paid £3.8m to buy out the £13m debt from the bank Barclays, the investment fund Agilo and John Kinnaird, the chief executive of Faith.

Mr Kinnaird is believed to have had £1.5m invested in the business, with Barclay’s £7m and Agilo’s £4.5m making up the remainder.

Sources said that Debenhams, the department store chain which houses 110 Faith concessions, is considering acquiring the Faith brand and stock from the administrator Mazars. If a purchase was forthcoming, this would be similar to the deal Debenhams did to acquire the brand and stock of Principles, the fashion chain that collapsed in 2009.

The administrator has already started closing down some Faith shops, with associated job losses. This week, Mazars has closed 11 Faith stores and 2 Chilli Pepper units, the fashion brand that was also under the FEC Holdings umbrella. Sources said up to 50 of Faith’s head office staff have been made redundant.

Before it collapsed, Faith Shoes Group employed 362 full-time staff and 1,382 part-time employees.

Sources said that shoe suppliers were being offered prices at a huge discount in the pound for their stock in Faith. The quandary for those suppliers who have retention of title rights for the stock is that they typically don’t have the resources to collect the stock from all of Faith’s stores and face the prospect of not having a retail outlet to sell their products.

Faith, Mr Kinnaird, JD, Hilco, Debenhams, Barclays and Agilo declined to comment.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SThree: Experienced Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £40000 per annum + OTE + Incentives + Benefits: SThree: Established f...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE 40/45k + INCENTIVES + BENEFITS: SThree: The su...

Recruitment Genius: Collections Agent

£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company was established in...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE 40k: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 busi...

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies