Lloyds adds to pressure on All Saints to find new investor

Lloyds Banking Group has hired an accountancy firm to offer advice on its option should All Saints fails to find an investor in the next week to inject fresh funds into the fashion chain.

The decision by the retailer's main lender to draw up contingency plans by appointing KPMG follows the collapse of talks on Wednesday between All Saints' stakeholders and a consortium, including the Beirut-based conglomerate M1, which had been poised to take control of the chain.

The current difficult situation at All Saints was triggered by the collapsed Icelandic banks Kaupthing and Glitnir deciding to sell their shareholdings in the retailer.

The accountancy firm Ernst & Young (E&Y) was hired in February to find buyers for stakes in All Saints. A price tag of up to £140m was placed on the retailer, but concern has grown that All Saints may need to raise funds more quickly than a typical bidding process would allow.

The collapse of talks with M1, a group co-founded by the next likely Lebanese Prime Minister, Najib Mikati, has raised questions over the future of All Saints, which has 63 stores and 47 concessions in the UK, Europe and in the US.

However, Goode Partners, a US private equity firm, which was involved in the initial bidding process, has now rekindled its interest in All Saints and made a new offer, according to a person familiar with the situation. This is now likely to be considered over the weekend.

Another US investment firm, MSD Capital, has also been linked to a deal with All Saints. But if a buyer cannot be found in the next week then Lloyds may consider placing All Saints into administration, although less grisly measures could also be implemented to safeguard its immediate future.

One option, for example, would be for Kaupthing to delay selling the bank's stake until All Saints is on a firmer financial footing.

A spokesman for Lloyds said yesterday: "We are fully supportive of All Saints and we are continuing to work with the company towards a sale."

However, he declined to comment on any detail of the sale process or the possible administration of All Saints. People familiar with the situation stressed that KPMG had been hired as an adviser and not as a potential administrator.

Over the 12 months to 31 January 2010, the last period for which figures are available, All Saints more than doubled its pre-tax profits to £10.7m, on sales up by 46 per cent to £132.9m. However, its current trading is unclear in Europe, where a consumer slowdown is buffeting many retailers, and the United States, where an expansion saw All Saints open 10 stores, including outlets in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Las Vegas.

Established in 1994, All Saints is best-known for its distinctive stores, which are fitted out with 10,000 vintage Singer sewing machines. All Saints and MSD Capital did not return calls yesterday, while Goode Partners, E&Y and KPMG all declined to comment.

Less than two weeks ago, Stephen Craig, the chief executive of All Saints, said: "We are confident that the chain's best days are ahead of it."

A week is a long time in Retail..

Alworths, the "son of Woolworths", has become the third retailer to collapse into administration this week.

The chain, which was set up by a former director of Woolworths, appointed Leonard Curtis as administrator yesterday, although its 17 stores will continue to trade while the insolvency firm seeks to find a buyer. Andy Latham set up Alworths around the time the 99-year old high street stalwart closed its 800 stores in January 2009.

The menswear retailer Officers Club and the furniture chain Easy Living fell into administration earlier this week. Oddbins, the high street wine retailer, is expected to file for administration on Monday.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
Young Winstone: His ‘tough-guy’ image is a misconception
people
Arts and Entertainment
Man of action: Christian Bale stars in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
Sport
Adnan Januzaj and Gareth Bale
footballManchester United set to loan out Januzaj to make room for Bale - if a move for the Welshman firms up
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
filmIdris Elba responds to James Bond rumours on Twitter
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
Hackers revealed Oscar-winning actress Lawrence was paid less than her male co-stars in American Hustle
people
Arts and Entertainment
Ellie Levenson’s The Election book demystifies politics for children
bookNew children's book primes the next generation for politics
Sport
Wayne Rooney warms up ahead of the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United at White Hart Lane
football
News
Outspoken: Alexander Fury, John Rentoul, Ellen E Jones and Katy Guest
newsFrom the Scottish referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones
film
News
i100
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Sport
Yaya Sanogo, Mats Hummels, Troy Deeney and Adnan Januzaj
footballMost Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
News
Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
peopleHe has shaped British politics 'for good or ill'
Voices
Strictly Come Dancing was watched by 6.9m viewers
voicesIt has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
News
Danielle George is both science professor and presenter
people
News
i100
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

Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant- NY- Investment Bank

Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...

Selby Jennings: Quantitative Research | Equity | New York

Not specified: Selby Jennings: Quantitative Research | Global Equity | New Yor...

Selby Jennings: SVP Model Validation

Not specified: Selby Jennings: SVP Model Validation This top tiered investment...

Selby Jennings: Oil Operations

Highly Competitive: Selby Jennings: Our client, a leading European Oil trading...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015