Officers Club sold in pre-pack by GT administrators

GRANT THORNTON ADMINISTRATORS have sold clothing retailer Officers Club in a pre-pack administration to clothing retailer Blue Inc.

Joe McLean and Les Ross, both partners at Grant Thornton, were appointed joint administrators. Today’s sale includes 46 of the 102 stores and 400 of the 900 staff will transfer to the new owners. The other staff members have been made redundant and stores closed.

The men’s fashion retailer entered into the same insolvency process less than three years ago.

It was sold by PwC administrators through a pre-pack administration at the end of 2008. The Officers Club’s then chief executive David Charlton bought the business through a pre-pack insolvency process, closing 32 stores.

McLean said: “The company experienced particularly challenging trading conditions in 2010 with raw material costs rising significantly. It was not possible to pass these increases on to customers given the extremely price sensitive nature of the UK retail arena.

“The directors did not see any improvement forthcoming in the early months of 2011 and, mindful of their legal responsibilities, concluded reluctantly that administration was in the best interests of the company’s creditors and other stakeholders.”

A pre-pack administration involves the insolvency practitioner marketing the business for sale prior to it entering into a formal insolvency process. It is sold the same day it enters administration.

Related reading