Oasis, Coast and Warehouse sale falls through

The sale of the UK-headquartered fashion chains Oasis, Coast and Warehouse appears to have fallen through.

According to a report in The Sunday Times, Emerisque Brands, founded by UK-based Indian entrepreneur Ajay Khaitan in 2004, was the last remaining bidder for the chains. But the sale was shelved after Interpol issued a “red notice” alleging the billionaire had engaged in fraud.

The parent company of Oasis, Coast and Warehouse, Aurora Group, however, says the sale was called off because the market does not currently recognise the value of the businesses.

The three chains were put up for sale by the administrators of Icelandic bank Kaupthing, which owns a majority share in Aurora.

Efforts have been underway to find a buyer for the retailers since last November.

Meanwhile, Khaitan denies any involvement in the transaction which prompted the fraud charges.

The Sunday Times reports other potential buyers who have dropped out of the race  included Austin Reed and Jaeger owner Philip Day, South African companies Truworths and Foschini and turnaround specialists Endless and Alteri Investors.

Retail Gazette reports that Kaupthing was seeking £100 million for the chains. Khaitan was negotiating from £60 million.


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