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Business law: Fashion retailer Jane Norman goes into administration

Reduced spending on the UK High Street has caused many companies to struggle recently. The women's fashion retailer Jane Norman is the latest to suffer, going into administration earlier this week.

The company, founded in 1952, operated 94 stores across the UK and Ireland as well as many concessions in department stores such as Debenhams and a further 90 international operations, and employed approximately 1,600 people.

The company faced severe cash flow difficulties and had debts of £140 million.

Following the appointment of administrators from the accountancy group Zolfo Cooper, the company was sold to the high street retail chain The Edinburgh Woolen Mill under a pre-packaged administration sale.

A pre-packaged administration occurs when an insolvent company's assets are sold through a pre-arrangement, before the company has entered the formal insolvency process. The terms of the sale and the purchaser are already agreed in advance of the administration process. This way, the sale can take place immediately once the administrator has been appointed.

The sale of Jane Norman covers 33 stores, the stock from all 94 standalone stores, all the UK concessions and some of the overseas ones. The sale will save at least 396 jobs in the UK.

However, the remaining stores that have not been purchased will be closed.

Alastair Beveridge of Zolfo Cooper said: "It has been an exacting time for the company, which has a substantial amount of debt.

"We are pleased to have ensured the survival of such a familiar presence on the High Street, while securing the jobs of at least 396 Jane Norman employees.

"Unfortunately, the sale has resulted in job losses, which we appreciate is difficult news for those involved. We would like to thank them for their professionalism and support during what has been an uncertain time."

Related links:
Read more on this story (Creditman)
Read 'What is administration?' (FindLaw)
Find local specialist solicitors throughout the UK (FindLaw)