The sale of Agent Provocateur by private equity firm 3i to a company part-owned by Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley is “preposterous” and “a disgrace”, the lingerie brand’s founder has reportedly said. “Just how 3i have decided the right business model is to deliberately road crash the business to wipe out anything owed to creditors or the taxman is quite unbelievable, when a higher offer on the table avoids them taking such action.
Joe Corré, son of Vivienne Westwood and former Sex Pistols manager Malcolm Mc Laren, who founded the chain in 1994 told : “The pre-pack arrangement between 3i and Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct is a disgrace to British business up there with Sir Philip Green’s shocking behaviour over BHS. This is bad practice at its worst.” Agent Provocateur was sold by consultants Alix Partners through a controversial “pre-pack” deal to Four Holdings, which Mike Ashley part-owns.
“It became clear that the business was not sustainable in its current form and the Board appointed Rothschild to seek new investment for the business to allow it to continue as a going concern.
Given the scale of the issues this was not possible,” the spokesperson said, adding that 3i had no role in choosing the buyer and does not expect to recover any money from the sale.
“If this preposterous deal goes ahead with Mike Ashley, 3i and their partners are going to face a phenomenal swath of litigation actions. The structure of the deal means Four Holdings can agree to the sale of the assets before buying the business and putting it into administration.
Stores opened their doors in Milan, Hong Kong, Sydney and Montreal and Agent Provocateur plans to open up in Chengdu, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Toronto and Calgary over next few months, The Telegraph reports.Unsurprisingly wood was the most important construction material but despite that, he and his father and grandfather before him were zinc roofers.Mike Figgis is better known for his films than for taking photographs.Alix Partners, who had been appointed to manage the restructuring and administration, said in a short statement that it had sold the group to Four Holdings, Mr Ashley's investment vehicle, but declined to reveal the terms of the deal.“We would like to thank all the staff and stakeholders for their support during this process and we wish the business and its new owners all the best for future,” said Peter Saville, Alix Partners' retail restructuring lead.The brand, which was founded by Vivienne Westwood’s son and is popular with celebrities including the Kardashians, has suffered weak sales in recent years, hit by a slow-down in luxury high street spending.