LK Bennett administration to be extended for another year
The administrators of womenswear brand LK Bennett have received creditor approval to extend the administration process by 12 months.
In a progress report, joint administrators Dan Hurd, Hunter Kelly and Craig Lewis from EY explained that the extension was primarily sought due to “ongoing property matters”, and to finalise trading liabilities and make further distributions to the company’s creditors.
LK Bennett collapsed into administration in March 2019 and was acquired a month later by Rebecca Feng, the UK boss of its Chinese franchise partner, via Byland UK. Almost £32 million was owed to creditors when the company went into administration.
The process was due to end on 7 March this year, but after receiving approval from secured creditors, the administration will be extended to 7 March 2021. The administrators said LK Bennett’s main secured lender, Wells Fargo, will be repaid in full, and while no distributions were made to preferential creditors during the period of 7 September and 6 March, a notice of intended dividend will be made shortly.
Non-preferential unsecured creditors are less likely to receive what they are owed. According to EY, non-preferential claims could total approximately £29.3 million, and claims from unsecured creditors are still being submitted. An estimated £600,00 is expected to be set aside to distribute among the unsecured creditors under insolvency legislation.
Known for being Kate Middleton’s go-to clothing and shoe brand, LK Bennett was founded over 30 years ago as a single shop in Wimbledon Village. Its founder Linda Bennett remained in the business until 2008, when she sold a majority stake to Phoenix Equity Partners.
Bennett returned to the company in 2017 after buying it back from Phoenix Equity Partners, but was unable to turn around its struggling finances, leading to the collapse of the business in 2019.
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