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Jack Wills sold to Sports Direct

Jack Wills sold to Sports Direct

Jack Wills, the British lifestyle fashion retailer, has been sold out of administration to companies controlled by Sports Direct.

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Will Wright

Partner, Restructuring

KPMG in the UK

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Jack Wills, the British lifestyle fashion retailer, has been sold out of administration to companies controlled by Sports Direct.

Will Wright and Chris Pole from KPMG’s Restructuring practice were appointed Joint Administrators to Jack Wills Limited, Wills Lifestyle Holdings Limited and Union Lifestyle Limited on Monday 5 August 2019.

Over the last 20 years, Jack Wills has grown to become one of the UK’s most well-known lifestyle brands, with approximately 100 stores across the UK, Ireland, Hong Kong, Singapore and USA. The company also has six franchised stores across Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and the Channel Islands, as well as an established ecommerce channel serving 130 countries. It employs approximately 1,700 staff across the business.

Like many other retailers, the company had recently experienced mounting cash flow pressures amidst some of the most difficult trading conditions seen on the high street in years.

Immediately following their appointment, the joint administrators sold the brand and UK trading assets of the businesses to Sports Direct International. All 100 stores in the UK and Ireland, as well as the Distribution Centre, will transfer to Sports Direct, along with all employees. The directors are currently assessing their options for the international business.

Will Wright, partner at KPMG and joint administrator, commented: “Jack Wills has a strong brand and proud British heritage, so it is pleasing to have been able to secure this agreement with Sports Direct.”

Suzanne Harlow, chief executive of Jack Wills, said: “For the past year, we have been focussed on improving the Jack Wills proposition and the group’s financial performance. Despite significant progress, the challenging trading environment led us to conclude that the company’s long-term future would be best served as part of a larger group and Sports Direct will enable us to do this.”

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About KPMG in the UK

KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, operates from 22 offices across the UK with approximately 16,300 partners and staff. The UK firm recorded a revenue of £2.338 billion in the year ended 30 September 2018. KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax, and Advisory services. It operates in 154 countries and has 200,000 professionals working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such.

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