Liq­uida­tor ap­pointed to Coast fash­ion stores

The Irish Times - Business - - BUSINESS | NEWS - AODHAN O FAOLAIN

The High Court has ap­pointed a pro­vi­sional liq­uida­tor to Coast, the women’s fash­ion and ac­ces­sories chain, which employs 99 full- and part-time staff here.

Coast Stores Ire­land Ltd, part of the UK-based Coast group of fash­ion out­lets, op­er­ates five stand­alone stores and a fur­ther 10 con­ces­sion stands in the Repub­lic. It sought a liq­uida­tor aris­ing from dif­fi­cul­ties ex­pe­ri­enced by its par­ent, in­clud­ing the col­lapse of de­part­ment store group House of Fraser, where it had many con­ces­sion stands, and dif­fi­cult mar­ket con­di­tions. The UK par­ent had been en­gaged in a sales process and that was ac­cel­er­ated in re­cent months, the court heard. It is hoped the liq­uida­tor’s ap­point­ment will see parts of the Ir­ish busi­ness sold off to a new par­ent and many of the jobs will be saved, it was also stated.

The Lon­don-based Karen Millen fash­ion house has agreed to buy Coast in the UK and is also in­ter­ested in ac­quir­ing Coast Stores Ire­land’s con­ces­sion stands, the court heard.

Yes­ter­day, Ms Jus­tice Caro­line Costello said she was sat­is­fied to ap­point in­sol­vency prac­ti­tioner De­clan McDon­ald of Price­wa­ter­house­Coop­ers as pro­vi­sional liq­uida­tor to Coast Stores Ire­land Ltd. Seek­ing the ap­point­ment, Kel­ley Smith, for the com­pany, said the de­ci­sion to have it wound up was taken by its board in re­cent days. In light of the sale process in the UK, and given the in­ter­est in the Ir­ish busi­ness, it was be­lieved the ap­point­ment of a pro­vi­sional liq­uida­tor was in the best in­ter­ests of par­ties in­clud­ing the com­pany’s em­ploy­ees, cred­i­tors and sup­pli­ers, coun­sel said.

Mr McDon­ald could deal with any sale of the com­pany’s as­sets, in­clud­ing stock, and en­sure an or­derly wind­ing up of the firm, she added.

The judge ad­journed the mat­ter to next month.

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