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Agent Provocateur sold to Four Holdings

Agent Provocateur sold to Four Holdings

Luxury lingerie brand Agent Provocateur has been sold to Four Holdings, an investor group backed by Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley, in a deal reportedly worth around GBP25m (US$30.6m).

Owner, private equity firm 3i, drafted in restructuring company Alix Partners to devise a turnaround plan for the business. However, it was placed into administration earlier this week, before a deal was immediately secured with Four Holdings.

Peter Saville, managing director and retail restructuring lead at AlixPartners said 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."

3i bought Agent Provocateur in 2007 for GBP60m (US$74m) from Joe Corré, the son of fashion designer Dame Vivienne Westwood and punk music impresario Malcolm McLaren.

The private equity giant, however, has previously tried to offload its stake. In 2014 it hired Goldman Sachs to run a strategic review, which was expected to lead to a GBP250m sale, but no buyer was found. Since then, Agent Provocateur's underlying profits are understood to have fallen after an aggressive expansion plan failed.

In a financial update last month, 3i CEO Simon Borrows said Agent Provocateur experienced "subdued December trading" and last year said the brand struggling with softness in spending on luxury goods.

Source : just style

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