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Office appoints advisers amid CVA rumours

Footwear retailer Office has appointed advisers as it considers a potential restructuring of the business.

According to Sky News, Office has appointed advisory firm Alvarez & Marsal (A&M) to help plan for a possible Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA) that could see the closure of around 100 UK stores.

However sources said that going ahead with a CVA has not yet been decided and the company is also considering alternative restructuring alternatives. It is also not known whether it overseas estates would also be included in the restructuring.

A&M is expected to finalise a plan in the coming weeks.

South African holding firm Truworths, which acquired Office in 2015 in a deal worth £250m, revealed that Office has circa £45m of debt which is due to be repaid with a significant portion of the debt to be settled through a lump sum payment at maturity in December 2020.

Commenting in a statement released today, Truworths said: “In light of the depressed retail trading environment currently being experienced in the UK, Office has entered into discussions with the relevant lenders regarding potential debt restructuring options. To assist in this regard, Office and the lenders have appointed Alvarez and Marsal Europe LLP and Deloitte, respectively, as their professional advisors.

“Though it is expected that the UK and Office will continue to experience a difficult trading environment in the medium term, the company’s management and the board of directors believe that the discussions with the lenders and any resultant debt restructuring will not have a material impact on the group’s operations in South Africa and the rest of Africa.”

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