Wales

Peacocks takeover: Edinburgh Woollen Mill pulls out of talks

Peacocks sale sign
Image caption Peacocks employs about 9,000 people across the UK and has 563 stores and 48 concessions

Three potential bidders remain in talks to take over Cardiff-based clothing retailer Peacocks, BBC Wales understands.

One of the interested buyers, Edinburgh Woollen Mill, is believed to have pulled out.

Administrator KPMG is expected to make a decision on a successful bidder next week.

KPMG says the group's overall debt stands at £750m, about the same as the overall sales of the group.

The administrator has said there was huge initial interest in Peacocks, with 50 potential buyers lining up within the first 48 hours of the firm going into administration.

This was soon whittled down to six serious bidders.

One newspaper report named Pakistani textile billionaire Alshair Fiyaz as behind one of the offers to land all or part of the firm.

Peacocks employs about 9,000 people across the UK and has 563 stores and 48 concessions.

Some 249 staff at its Cardiff head office have already lost their jobs.

Peacocks' problems have been blamed on its debts, which have grown since a management buyout in 2006, but the underlying retail business is said to remain profitable.

The overall borrowings had risen to £596m in the last official company accounts dating from 2010, while the overall debt is £750m.

Last month the fashion chain Bonmarche, which is part of the Peacocks Group, was bought by private equity group Sun European Partners.

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