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Administrators Appointed To Laura Ashley; 70 Stores Closed

Laura Ashley store Milton Keynes.jpg

Further to the Company's announcement on 17 March 2020, the directors of the Company, and of the named subsidiaries, have resolved to file documents at court today to appoint Rob Lewis and Zelf Hussain of PwC as Administrators of the Company and of the named subsidiaries. That application is expected to be approved over the course of the day.

Regretfully 70 UK stores will be closed permanently today and potentially 721 employees affected. The Administrators will be working with those employees affected to help them understand what this means for their roles and provide all necessary support.

The Company will continue to trade the remaining 77 UK stores which will be open as normal and purchases will continue to be accessible online. Our franchisee and licensee partners also continue to trade as normal.

The initial focus of the Administrators will be to engage with parties who are interested in acquiring the business with the aim of securing a buyer.

Katharine Poulter, CEO, said:

"Since my appointment just last month, I have shared my vision for the future of this brand, accompanied with a robust turnaround plan to set the future direction of the company and return Laura Ashley to the great British brand that is known and cherished around the world.  The vision also included reconnecting with our traditional values and our strong British heritage and focusing on developing Laura Ashley as a lifestyle brand."

"I remain unwavering in my belief that Laura Ashley can and should retain the place it deserves in the international retail landscape. Unfortunately, we will lose some brilliant people through no fault of their own. However, I remain hopeful there is a buyer out there who shares my vision and can see the enormous potential of this iconic British brand that is known and loved around the world."

The Company will request that its ordinary shares be cancelled from listing on the premium segment of the Official List of the FCA and from trading on the main market of the London Stock Exchange following the appointment of the Administrators.

Source : Laura Ashley Holdings PLC

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24 March 2020

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