Clothing & Shoes

Next set for Victoria’s Secret UK takeover

Next has reportedly agreed an outline deal to acquire the UK arm of Victoria’s Secret, fending off competition from Marks and Spencer and other bidding rivals. 

According to Sky News, Next has been chosen as the “preferred” franchise partner for the lingerie brand by Deloitte, who were called in as administrators to its British operations last month. 

Insiders claimed that a partnership with Next would give Victoria’s Secret a chance to expand its UK presence through new standalone stores and concession arrangements, though it was still possible that some existing outlets would close permanently.

While an outline deal has now been agreed, insiders told Sky that landlords for Victoria’s Secret UK must still reach an agreement to restructure its lease terms before a deal is finalised. 

According to Sky, Next has secured an exclusivity agreement until the end of September to finalise a takeover deal, however.

It is believed that “dozens” of potential partners have approached Deloitte regarding a deal since the lingerie brand slipped into administration last month

Marks and Spencer was one such bidder that was “understood to have been serious” about a franchise arrangement.

Last month, the lingerie brand confirmed it had appointed advisers to assess the impact of Covid-19 on the business and conduct a “light touch” administration whilst the retailer sought potential buyers.

Deloitte joint administrator Rob Harding said: “This is yet another blow to the UK high street and a further example of the impact the Covid-19 pandemic is having on the entire retail industry.

“We will now work with the existing management team and broader stakeholders to assess all options available for the future of the business.”

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