Could Coast, Warehouse and Oasis be up for sale?

London - Administrators for collapsed Icelandic bank Kaupthing are reportedly seeking to sell off British high street retailers Coast, Warehouse and Oasis.

The administrators are also said to be exploring options for higher-end market fashion brand Karen Millen. The potential sale of the fashion labels, which currently employ thousands of people across the UK and abroad, comes a month after the defunct Kaupthing invited to pitch for a mandate to auction off its remaining retail assets early next year, reported Reuters.

Reykjavik-based bank, which filed for bankruptcy in 2008, acquired the fashion brands from Mosaic Fashions in 2009 after it fell into administration. The bank, which was nationalised during Iceland's financial crisis between 2008 and 2011, saw its domestic operations placed into a new bank Arion Banki, while its non-Icelandic assets, including the British fashion retailers, remained with Kaupthing.

Administrators are likely to face difficult sale of the fashion brands, as valuation of Oasis, Warehouse and Coast could be less than 100 million, said two of the sources to Reuters. One indicated that this in turn may draw interest from private equity funds.

FashionUnited has reached out to Kaupthing and the fashion retailers in question for additional commentary.

Photo: Karen Millen, Facebook


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