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Evans sold for £23m as bidders circle Arcadia brands

Oscar Williams-Grut
·Senior City Correspondent, Yahoo Finance UK
·2 min read
A woman wearing PPE (personal protective equipment), of a face mask as a precautionary measure against COVID-19, walks past an Evans clothing store, closed-down due to coronavirus, on Oxford Street in central London on April 27, 2020. - Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday made his first public appearance since being hospitalised with coronavirus three weeks ago, saying Britain was beginning to "turn the tide" on the outbreak but rejecting calls to ease a nationwide lockdown. (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / AFP) (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)
A woman wearing PPE (personal protective equipment), of a face mask as a precautionary measure against COVID-19, walks past an Evans clothing store, closed-down due to coronavirus, on Oxford Street in central London on April 27, 2020. Photo: TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images

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.

READ MORE: TopShop-owner Arcadia collapses with 13,000 jobs on the line

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.”

READ MORE: Arcadia collapse caps downfall of king of the High Street Sir Philip Green

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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