Administrators for collapsed retail group Arcadia have secured the first sale of part of the business.
Administrators Deloitte said on Monday they had agreed to sell Arcadia’s Evans brand to Australia’s City Chic Collective (CCX.AX) for £23m ($30.4m) in cash. Both Evans and City Chic focus on plus-sized clothing for women.
“We had a successful partnership with Evans for many years which was a great channel for the City Chic brand in the UK,” Phil Ryan, City Chic’s chief executive said in a statement.
“Evans gives us an excellent foundation in a new geography to grow our collective and is a brand which aligns with our existing product streams.”
Shares in City Chic rose more than 10% in Sydney on the news.
City Chic is buying Evans’ brand and its online and wholesale businesses but not its five stand alone stores. Stores will continue to trade until stock is emptied. Some jobs will transfer over to City Chic but the 25 employees within Evans’ retail stores face redundancy.
The Evans sale marks the first disposal from the Arcadia administration process. Arcadia, which owns brands like TopShop, Miss Selfridge, and Dorothy Perkins, collapsed last month leaving 13,000 jobs hanging in the balance.
Monday marks the deadline for bids for part or all of the company. Deloitte said there had been “significant expressions of interest for all brands.”
Frasers Group (FRAS.L), the retail group owned by billionaire Mike Ashley, has already publicly said it would take part in any bidding process for Arcadia. On Friday, Sky News reported that Next (NXT.L) and a US investment firm were also considering a bid for the company. Next has yet to comment on the report.
Reports suggest administrators have received around 30 proposals from potential bidders, with Boohoo (BOO.L) also mentioned as potentially in the running for the brands.
Deloitte declined to comment on how many bids it had received. The administrator said it would give a further update on the bidding process in the new year.
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