Administrators sell Koovs as Biyani fails to invest


 (Photo: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images).
(Photo: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images).

ADMINISTRATORS have sold fashion retailer businesses and assets of Koovs Plc to SGIK 3 Investments Ltd.

The properties were sold to SGIK 3 Investments, an entity owned by the online fashion retailer’s largest secured creditor and chairman Waheed Alli, the fashion retailer said on Tuesday (10).

The company that is listed on London’s junior market said earlier that it would apply to place itself into administration.

The move came after its largest shareholder India’s Future Lifestyle Fashion failed to invest an additional £6.5 million.

Indian billionaire Kishore Biyani’s Future Lifestyle Fashion is part of the country’s largest retail firm Future Group.

Koovs said it could not get alternative funding and a competitive sale process conducted over the last month to help continue as a going concern had failed.

Geoff Rowley and Jason Baker, partners at specialist business advisory firm FRP Advisory, were appointed as joint administrators to the retailer.

Rowley was quoted by Reuters: “The offer from SGIK 3 Investments Limited to purchase the underlying business of Koovs in the UK and in India was the best one we received from a creditors’ perspective”.

Koovs is an online store for western fashion, which supplies fashion clothing, cosmetics, footwear, and others to its Indian customers.

The company is headquartered in India, with an office in the British capital, and serves the Indian market.

It stocks Indian and global brands and its own collection of clothing and accessories. The company has also collaborated with international designers to create clothing range.

It posted a pre-tax loss of £15.5m for the year to the end of March, flat on the previous year. Sales were down to £7.5m from £9.6m.

Founded in 2012, Koovs has around 20 employees in London, whereas 250 staff members are based in India’s Delhi and Mumbai.

Alli has pumped around £20m of his own cash into Koovs after the formation of the company, following his departure from Asos as its chairman.

The company had repeatedly asked for additional cash supply from new and existing investors, as it aimed to spend cash primarily on marketing to spread its business further.

Before starting his online business in the South Asian country, Alli served as the chairman of Asos for over a decade and stepped down in 2012.

He sold half of his stake in Asos to start a replica of the online retailer in India targeting middle-class youth.