Liam Gallagher’s Pretty Green to become latest ‎fashion victim


The fashion retailer set up by Liam Gallagher, the former Oasis frontman, is preparing to appoint administrators next week as it becomes the latest victim of a brutal retail environment.

Sky News has learnt that Pretty Green, the decade-old menswear business, has filed a notice of intention to appoint Moorfields Advisory to handle an insolvency process.

City sources said on Friday that the notice, which expires next week, had been put down in order to create a window for Pretty Green to secure new investment.

If a buyer is found for the upmarket fashion label, which trades from a dozen standalone stores across the UK, a deal would be implemented after administrators have been appointed.

Insiders added that there had been interest from potential bidders since Moorfields began running a process earlier this month under the codename Project Sky.

The corporate advisory firm, which oversaw Toys R Us UK’s insolvency last year, is understood to have told interested parties that Pretty Green’s business and assets would not be sold solvently.

That is likely to mean that Mr Gallagher’s shareholding in the company he set up in 2009 is worthless.

Reports in 2017 suggested that Pretty Green had sold a £10m minority stake in the business to an investment firm called Rockpool Investments.

The former Chelsea and England footballer Joe Cole is also reported to have been a shareholder.

Pretty Green employs 180 people in the UK, and has built a strong wholesale business serving approximately 100 customers.

It also trades from about 40 in-store concessions.

According to information sent to potential bidders, Pretty Green recorded turnover of £28m and £176,000 in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation in the year to 31 January.

It pointed out that these figures were based on draft management accounts.

The document is also understood to have forecast EBITDA of £2.2m for the year to January 2020.

It was unclear whether Mr Gallagher had any intention of trying to buy Pretty Green after administrators are appointed.

The company has been adversely affected by last year’s pre-pack administration of House of Fraser, where it operates a number of concessions.

That link will inevitably prompt speculation that Mike Ashley, Sports Direct’s chief executive, will table a bid for the label.

In the past fortnight, he has expressed an interest in buying LK Bennett, which appointed administrators earlier this month, as well as continuing his quest to force his way into the boardroom at Debenhams.

Mr Ashley has become the most acquisitive figure on the British high street, snapping up a series of brands including Evans Cycles and in recent months.

In a statement earlier this month, Moorfields Advisory said: “Pretty Green is not immune to the challenges facing the UK high street as customers migrate from purchasing in store to online.

“The growing overall demand for the brand, coupled with a strong online customer base, position the company well to navigate these changes and we are therefore considering all options‎.”

The firm declined to comment further on Friday on Pretty Green’s filing of a notice of intention to appoint it as administrator.

Pretty Green could not be reached for comment.

(c) Sky News 2019: Liam Gallagher’s Pretty Green to become latest ‎fashion victim

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