British high street under threat

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  • Oasis, Whistles, Karen Millen and many more under threat as investor faces collapse

    Some of Britain’s biggest, and most recognisable high street stores are under threat, as investment group Baugur faces collapse.

    The Icelandic company has taken moves to prevent bankruptcy and protect its considerable assets, following the collapse of talks with bank Landsbanki, concerning debts that account for £1billion.

    The company has considerable stakes in some of the country’s leading fashion stores, including a 49% share in Mosaic, the company that owns Oasis, Warehouse, Principles and Karen Millen.

    Whistles, French Connection, Jane Norman, and All Saints also face uncertain times, with Baugur owning significant shares.

    But it’s not just fashion stores that could suffer. Baugur has a controlling stake in Hamley’s, as well as department stores House of Fraser and Debenhams.   

    With Baugur fighting to raise funds, Britain could now see the retail sale

    of the century, as the Icelandic firm rushes to sell off assets.

    Arcadia boss Sir Philip Green is already rumoured to have expressed interest, on which Baugur founder Jon Asgeir Johannesson commented, ‘I’m sure that Philip Green is dancing a war dance in his living room, because now he will become a large owner of our companies for virtually nothing.’

    Green attempted to buy out Baugur back in October 2008, when it initially ran into problems.

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