Wait on double loss for town site

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CLOTHING chain Peacocks, which has a store in Leigh, has gone into administration as talks with its lenders deteriorated.

Despite a rise in sales over Christmas and the success of a collaboration with the singer-turned-fashion designer Pearl Lowe, the chain, which has a store in The Spinning Gate shopping centre has revealed debts of £240m.

The move into administration will affect 10,000 jobs in the 611 stores across the UK, as well as in the 117 international sites.

Bon Marche, the retailer which is part of the Peacocks Group and has 394 stores, is understood to be close to being sold, which would mean the store in the Spinning Gate could remain open.

It was reported that independent advisors at KPMG were drafted in to prepare a review of the group’s finances, and carry out an administration, but neither parties were able to comment.

Peacocks, owned by hedge funds Och-Ziff and Perry Capital, were in discussion with its lenders, led by Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland, but the banks were unwilling to take a loss on debt owed.

A spokesman for Barclays said: “At every stage Barclays has been willing to support the management in the restructuring of the business.”

RBS withdrew from talks to turn some of the company’s debts into equity holdings.

An RBS spokesman said: “Each company restructure is judged on its own merits, but clearly the difficult conditions retailers face is an important factor. We have been and continue to be supportive of the company. New investors willing to inject sufficient capital could not be found.”

It was reported that discussions among stakeholders regarding the restructuring of the debt were continuing.

A spokesman for Peacocks was unable to confirm how many job losses there would be in Leigh.