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High Street

Links of London enters administration placing 350 jobs at risk

British jewellery brand Links of London has entered administration, placing around 350 jobs at risk.

Matt Smith and Dan Smith, restructuring partners at Deloitte, have been appointed as joint administrators to the company.

The brand is owned by the Greek Folli Follie Group, with headquarters in London, and sells luxury British jewellery, watches, cufflinks and gifts.

It currently operates 28 standalone stores across the UK and Ireland and seven concessions. Other international operations trading under the Links of London brand are not directly affected by this appointment.

No redundancies are being announced at this stage.

Matt Smith, joint administrator, said: “The company has had to contend with difficult trading conditions that have impacted the whole retail sector. The directors have been seeking alternative solutions, including consideration of a CVA, refinancing or sale, but have unfortunately been unable to conclude such a transaction.

“In light of ongoing cash flow pressures, this has left the directors with no choice but to place the business into administration.”

He added: “We intend to continue to trade the business and will be exploring any options for a sale. If this cannot be achieved, then we will seek to realise stock and other assets over a period of trading for the benefit of the company’s creditors.

“The company is well known in its market, having been present on British high streets for almost 30 years. This is not the outcome we hoped for and will of course be difficult news for employees and their families. We appreciate the support of management and we will continue to support employees through this time.”

Earlier in September, Sports Direct was one of the final bidders attempting to buy the jewellery brand from the Folli Follie Group, according to reports from Sky News.

Folli Follie Group appointed firms Deloitte and Savigny to find a buyer for Links in late August, after the brand pulled out of the US, and reported pre-tax loss of £20.6m for the year ending December 2017.

Sources cited by Sky said that Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley was interested in acquiring the chain as part of his attempt to turnaround House of Fraser, which he bought out of administration last year.

Links of London was founded in 1990, and was acquired by the Folli Follie Group in July 2006.

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