National chain with stores in Horsham, Crawley and Haywards Heath announces intention to appoint administrators

A national chain with stores in Horsham, Crawley and Haywards Heath says it intends to appoint administrators amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Tuesday, 17th March 2020, 1:28 pm

Textile design firm Laura Ashley said the Covid-19 outbreak has had an ‘immediate and significant impact’ on trading.

Sagar Mavani, chief financial officer, added: “Ongoing developments indicate that this will be a sustained national situation.

“Discussions with stakeholders have been ongoing and the directors are in advanced discussions for the provision of third-party debt funding.

“However, based on the Company’s revised cashflow forecasts and the increased uncertainty facing the Group, the Company expects that it will not be in a position to draw down additional funds from third party lenders in a timely manner sufficient to support working capital requirements.

“MUI Asia Limited has confirmed that it is unable to provide financial support in the required timeframe.

“The directors of the company, its key trading subsidiary (Laura Ashley Limited), Premier Home Logistics Limited, Laura Ashley Investments Limited, and Texplan Manufacturing Limited, have concluded that all available alternative options have been explored and therefore, in order to protect creditors, it is necessary to file a notice of intention to appoint administrators in respect of the Company and each of the named subsidiaries.”

For seven weeks up to March 13 trading for the firm had improved by 24 per cent year-on-year.

But the directors have today (March 17) filed notices of intention to appoint Robert Lewis and Zelf Hussain as administrators.

Sagar Mavani added: “If administrators are appointed in respect of the Company, given the Group’s creditor position, the Company is not certain whether there would be any surplus assets available to shareholders of the company.

“The company has requested that its ordinary shares be suspended from premium listing segment of the Official List. Further announcements will be made in due course.”