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Hotter owner Unbound Group to appoint administrators

Unbound Group, the parent company of Hotter Shoes, has filed an intention to appoint administrators after failing to conclude a rescue deal for the battling business.

The group warned last week that it could go into administration if restructuring plans failed, however, the company confirmed the intention to appoint Will Wright and Rick Harrison of Interpath Advisory today to Beaconsfield Footwear Limited (OpCo), which operates Hotter Shoes.

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In a statement, the company said that “having regard to the group’s obligations to its creditors and wider stakeholders, it is now clear to the board that it is no longer appropriate to progress these parallel discussions further”.

It added: “It is currently expected that, following their formal appointment, the administrators will implement a sale of the trade and assets of OpCo to a third-party purchaser as soon as reasonably practicable thereafter.

“There can be no certainty that any such sale will proceed or as to the terms or timing of any such sale.”
The group has also requested a suspension of trading in its shares on London Stock Exchange junior market AIM with effect from today.

However, according to reports, a pre-pack deal is likely to be announced in the next few days, which would sell the business following a brief appearance through an insolvency process, to a trade buyer.

However, the move could result in all 26 Hotter Shoes stores at risk of closure, with locations including Glasgow, Exeter, Cardiff, Canterbury, York, Rugby and Norwich.

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Hotter is ranked Top100 in 2023 RXUK Top500 research. Find out more about how retailers facing challenges from the Covid-19 pandemic, rising energy costs and soaring inflation.

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