Brantano is set to trade on as a multichannel retailer with a slimmed-down store estate after it was bought out of administration by its former owner, Alteri Investors.
The deal comes less than a month after Alteri put the company into administration following a Christmas that hit high street retailers hard as shoppers moved online to buy. In total, 1,732 jobs will be saved as a result.
Brantano , a Top250 company in InternetRetailing’s IRUK Top500 research, will trade online and through a reduced estate of 140 stores and concessions. Fifty-eight outlets have not been included in the sale, and could close, with the loss of an estimated 600 jobs, if a buyer is not found.
Brantano’s administration, announced on January 21, came amid evidence that shoppers moved further online to buy over Christmas. Days earlier, British Retail Consortium figures showed that shoppers had spent less time on the high street, turning to devices including mobile phones and tablets to buy. Tony Barrell, lead administrator at PwC, said at the time: “The continuing challenging conditions for ‘bricks and mortar’ retail stores are well documented. Like many others, Brantano has been hit hard by the change in consumers’ shopping habits and the evolution of the UK retail environment.”
This week, PwC said Alteri Investors’ purchase of the group was the best offer available.
Robert Moran, deals partner at PwC, who led the sales process, said: “From discussions held over the last few weeks, there was interest from a number of parties, both trade and private equity, for the Brantano business. Of this interest, the offer from Alteri represents the best outcome for creditors and employees.”
Alteri Investors originally bought the Brantano business from Macintosh Retail Group in October 2015, along with sister company Jones Bootmaker, which was unaffected by the subsequent adninistration. At the time, it described Brantano as “the UK’s largest out-of-town value for money footwear retailer for families”.