Edinburgh Woollen Mill given 10-day extension in bid to avoid collapse

Edinburgh Woolen Mill (EWM) has an additional 10 working days to discuss work on a rescue plan.

The high street clothing chain, which also includes Peacocks and Jaeger, said earlier this month it would go broke with no intention of moving to appoint administrators to the high court, with 24,000 jobs on its balance sheet.

Since then, the bosses have started shutting down 50 stores with 600 job losses while securing the safeguard for the rest of the business.

According to a memo from the PA news agency, there is interest in parts of the deal, including the Peacocks and Jaeger brands.

However, it is estimated that an additional 100 to 150 stores across the group will be slated to close as talks with landlords continue.

Discussions about the sale of the Peacocks brand were also hit by lockdown restrictions in Wales. The company’s headquarters and distribution center are in Cardiff.

The bosses wrote to employees on Friday morning warning them that the national and local lockdowns had seriously affected sales.

In a note to employees seen by PA, the company said it had been a challenging time and thanked employees for their efforts.

It read: “Two weeks ago we wrote to you that we were petitioning the High Court to protect the group from creditors for a short period of time while we worked on a longer term plan to save as much as possible from the devastating effects Covid-19 and the locks.

“We have worked on this plan since then and made good progress, but it is a complex and difficult process.

“We’re talking to a number of parties who either want to buy parts of the business or offer investments.

“What is clear is that this process will mean a lot of changes for all of us and, inevitably, a significant number of store closures.

“However, we are pleased to say that the High Court today agreed to extend the respite for another two weeks to give us more time to work on the details and pursue these opportunities.

“We will use this time as best we can to protect companies and save jobs.”

The company, owned by businessman Philip Day, is in talks with shirt maker TM Lewin owner – Torque Brands – to buy Jaeger, according to Sky News reports, and other parties are said to be interested.

It is also reported that Mr Day is trying to save Peacocks with a capital injection from the US hedge fund Davidson Kempner.

.

Leave a Comment