Jun 27, 2019
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Karen Millen owner launches auction - report

Jun 27, 2019

Karen Millen’s owner should soon confirm rumours that the company (which also owns the Coast brand) is up for sale with the fashion retailer’s Iceland-based parent reportedly set to speak to bidders in the next few days.

Karen Millen

That’s according to Sky News, which said owner Kaupthing, the Icelandic bank, has appointed Deloitte to conduct the auction after “several weeks of deliberations by the board”. It also said it’s unclear “whether the emphasis would be on a solvent sale” with the retailer and its advisers not commenting.

Karen Millen is a major player in the UK fashion market but also has a strong presence abroad and is in around 50 markets in Europe, North America and Australasia. It has only 58 directly-operated standalone stores, as well as 164 franchised locations, but also has a large number of department store concessions. It has around 1,700 staff in total.

The company’s most recent annual turnover figure that’s available is for the 2017/18 financial year and showed it with turnover of £162 million, up from £158.8 million a year earlier. But it was lossmaking, although its loss for the year narrowed to £1.4 million.

The company bought the Coast brand out of administration last year and closed most of its stores.

Kaupthing was one of the banks that collapsed during the financial crisis of a decade ago and its assets also include Oasis and Warehouse owner Aurora Fashions, although that's not part of the sale.

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