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Fashion retailer Kookai quits UK 24 April 2013

Fashion retailer Kookai – famed for its black and white handbags in the 90s – is quitting the UK high street and disposing of the assets of its UK business in a solvent liquidation.

Asher Miller, partner and insolvency practitioner at David Rubin & Partners LLP has been handling the members’ voluntary liquidation of Kookai UK Limited.

He told Insolvency News: “Kookai is currently restructuring and we were instructed by the French shareholders to wind down the UK operation. The company is retrenching back to France and withdrawing from the UK. The final payments to creditors have been made.”

The Kookai brand is owned by Vivarte Group which owns global fashion brands such as NafNaf, Minelli and Schuh Paradies. In the UK, Kookai UK Limited had been minority-owned by investor Amery Capital.

Michael and Maurice Bennett of Amery Capital – who had invested back in 2005 – resigned as directors in January.

Kookai UK Limited had previously restructured several times but confirmed that sales had dropped by 24.6% for the year to 27 August 2011 when the last results were published in June 2012. Pre-tax losses stood at £2.5 million at the time.

Matthieu Dietsch was appointed as managing director of the UK arm in 2008 but resigned at the end of October last year after the number of UK concessions dwindled slowly from 46 when he took over. Kookai Group still has more than 350 stores worldwide, however.

The insolvency practitioner Asher Miller was keen to stress that Kookai UK Limited has repaid all sums owed to creditors ahead of its retreat from the UK.



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