Clintons cards saved in pre-pack deal

Clintons, the greeting cards retailer, has been sold out of administration in a pre-pack deal to original owner Esquire Retail, safeguarding 2,500 jobs 

Under the sale arrangements, no stores in the group's nationwide network of 334 locations will be closed.

Will Wright and Steve Absolom from KPMG’s restructuring practice were appointed joint administrators to AG Retail Cards on 4 December 2019.

Immediately following their appointment, the joint administrators sold the brand and assets of the business to Esquire Retail Ltd, a company wholly owned and controlled by the Weiss family, who had owned Clintons since 2012.

The company, which was founded in 1968, had grown to become one of the most familiar names on the UK high street with its range of greeting cards and gift products.

However, like many other bricks and mortar retailers, Clintons had faced mounting cashflow pressures in the face of challenging high street trading conditions.

Eddie Shepherd, chief executive of Clintons, said: ‘We are pleased to have been able to secure the future of the Clintons business, protecting all of our talented 2,500-strong workforce and ensuring continuation of trade across all of our UK store network at what is a crucial time of the year for the business.

‘Like so many of our fellow high street retailers, we have worked tirelessly to contend with the maelstrom of issues impacting the sector, from business rates pressures, to fragile consumer confidence and the lack of clarity around the taxation of online retail businesses.

‘As part of our exploration of sale options to secure the future of the business, we entered into extensive discussions with stakeholders with a view to entering into a company voluntary arrangement.

‘Despite receiving support from a number of landlords, we were unfortunately unable to secure the requisite support needed to successfully launch our proposals. With no other investment options available, we therefore had to take the difficult step to place the company into administration.

‘We are confident that this deal will kickstart a new chapter for our business.’

Will Wright, partner at KPMG and joint administrator, said: ‘Clintons has been a fixture on the British high street for over 50 years, so it is pleasing to have been able to secure this agreement which will see it continue to trade.’

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