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Retailer Internacionale in administration 3 March 2014

Embattled fashion retailer Internacionale has entered administration and requires a buyer in order to avoid liquidation.

The company, which employs over 1,500 staff and operates 89 stores across the UK, entered administration following a period of continued poor trading and increasing creditor pressure.

Bruce Cartwright, Lyn Vardy and Toby Underwood of PwC were appointed joint administrators of Internacionale UK Limited on 28 February, and will seek an orderly winding down of the business unless a sale can be completed.

Cartwright, joint administrator and partner at PwC said: “The company directors have worked with key stakeholders to try and find a solution to preserve the business.

“However, these efforts have proved to be unsuccessful against the backdrop of a fiercely competitive retail sector which, despite the improving economic conditions, can be unforgiving to businesses in financial distress.”

Internacionale narrowly escaped liquidation in July 2013, when the business and assets of the company were sold as a going concern to former chief executive Raj Sehgal, Naresh Abrol and William Milton.

Despite a turnaround plan affected in early 2014, including 90 redundancies, the economy remained flat and the company did not see anticipated levels of growth and recovery.

As a result, company shareholders have decided they can no longer support the business and have taken the difficult decision to wind down the business through administration.

Cartwright added: “We are currently working with management to agree an orderly wind-down of the company, but we welcome any approaches to purchase parts of the store portfolio and safeguard jobs. We intend to continue to trade over the coming weeks in order to sell as much of the retail stock as possible and maximise the return to creditors. Staff have been –and will continue to be- paid for their work.

“Unfortunately, unless a willing purchaser for the business or store portfolio is forthcoming, it is inevitable that redundancies and store closures will become necessary as the administration process continues. The company and the administrators are making every effort to help staff through this difficult transition.”

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