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Links of London falls into administration after failed hunt for buyer

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British jewellery brand Links of London has plunged into administration after it has failed to find a buyer.

In light of ongoing cash flow pressures, the director of Links of London have been left with “no choice” but to call in the administrators.

The jewellery firm, which operates 28 stores and seven concessions in the UK and Ireland, had been seeking a buyer before being put into administration on Tuesday, with Sports Direct owner, Mike Ashley, and Hilco Capital, the owner of Homebase, reported as potential.

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Links of London has now appointed Deloitte as administrators, with plans to still secure a sale.

The business continues to trade and its stores remain open but 350 jobs are now at risk if the brand is not rescued by a buyer.

Matt Smith, joint administrator for Links of London, says: “The company has had to contend with difficult trading conditions that have impacted the whole retail sector.

“The directors have been seeking alternative solutions, including consideration of a CVA, refinancing or sale, but have unfortunately been unable to conclude such a transaction.”

Smith said the directors had run out of time to find a buyer: “In light of ongoing cash flow pressures, this has left the directors with no choice but to place the business into administration.”

Links of London is currently owned by the FF Group, which has in trouble for some time following a scandal involving its business in Asia.

Over the last 12 months Links of London has been trying to save itself with a new turnaround strategy.

While the brand was starting to see fruit from its five-year transformation plan, its not been enough to save the business.

Smith admits this is not the outcome the company had hoped for, saying it will “of course be difficult news for employees and their families”.

However, no redundancies have been announced yet.

Deloitte says the business intends to continue to trade while it seeks out sale options, but said it could sell stock and assets over a period of trading “for the benefit of the company’s creditors”.

Customers have been warned, however, that the brand is no longer fulfilling online orders or accepting gift cards. If you go on the Links of London website now, every item is listed as ‘out of stock’.

Tags : ff grouphigh streetLinks of London
Stacey Hailes

The author Stacey Hailes

Editor, Professional Jeweller

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