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Gordon Brothers rescues Laura Ashley from administration

Embattled retailer Laura Ashley has been rescued from administration by global investment firm Gordon Brothers for an undisclosed sum.

Gordon Brothers revealed it has acquired the global Laura Ashley brand, archives, and related intellectual property from the Laura Ashley group’s administrators PwC.

Ramez Toubassy, president of brands for Gordon Brothers said: “Laura Ashley is a true giant among British lifestyle brands, possessing a unique ability to span geographies, product categories, and price points.

“We feel humbled and inspired by the responsibility to reignite Mrs. Ashley’s original vision while delivering unique and contemporary products to both long-time followers and new customers from around the world.”

As new owners of the brand, Gordon Brothers said it will partner with management to “evaluate several go-to-market strategies” for the business, some of which could include retaining a streamlined portfolio of retail stores in key markets within the UK and Ireland.

It added it intends to place a “strong emphasis on building e-commerce, developing more strategic wholesale relationships, and expanding the portfolio of licensees and franchisees globally’.

All Laura Ashley stores have been closed since 24 March 2020 in line with government lockdown restrictions, however, the e-commerce business has continued to trade while working within social distance guidelines.

Rob Lewis, joint administrator of several of the Laura Ashley group companies in the UK added: “Throughout this process, Gordon Brothers has shown a passion for the Laura Ashley brand and I am delighted that, under their ownership, there will be a real opportunity to grow its profile worldwide.

“Whilst we have taken an important step forward in securing the sale of the brand, we continue to explore opportunities to reshape the UK store based retail and manufacturing businesses and are very grateful for the efforts of the entire team at Laura Ashley in helping us with those discussions.”

Robert Russell, UK head of restructuring at DLA Piper UK, advised Gordon Brothers on the Laura Ashley brand acquisition transaction.

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