Retail tycoon Mike Ashley rescues fast fashion firm Missguided in £20m deal

1 June 2022, 08:19

Mike Ashley's Frasers Group revealed it has bought online fashion retailer Missguided out of administration
Mike Ashley's Frasers Group revealed it has bought online fashion retailer Missguided out of administration. Picture: Alamy

By Asher McShane

Mike Ashley's retail empire has snapped up troubled fast fashion brand Missguided in a £20m rescue deal.

It comes after Missguided collapsed into administration on Monday after suppliers accused the business of millions of pounds worth of outstanding payments.

Insolvency specialists at Teneo had been tasked with seeking to sell the business and assets of the retailer, which employs about 330 staff from its Manchester base.

On Wednesday Frasers Group, which also owns Sports Direct and House of Fraser, confirmed it has bought the intellectual property of the retailer, and sister brand Mennace, for around £20 million.

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It confirmed that Missguided will continue to be operated by administrators for a transition period of around eight weeks. Frasers will then continue to run Missguided as a "standalone" brand within its group.

Remaining assets of the group could still be sold separately as part of the administration.

Missguided was founded in 2009 by Nitin Passi and grew rapidly amid rising demand for online fashion.

However, the company was hit hard by surging supply costs, wider inflationary pressures and waning consumer confidence in the increasingly competitive market.

Rival retailers Boohoo, Asos and JD Sports had all been linked with potential rescue deals for the business.

Michael Murray, chief executive of Frasers Group, said: "We are delighted to secure a long-term future for Missguided, which will benefit from the strength and scale of Frasers Group's platform and our operational excellence.

"Missguided's digital-first approach to the latest trends in women's fashion will bring additional expertise to the wider Frasers Group."

It comes amid a planned shift in strategy by Frasers Group under new boss Mr Murrary, who is also Mr Ashley's son-in-law.

Mr Murray was previously the company's so-called head of elevation, and has been tasked with modernising the retail giant.

Missguided will become the latest troubled retail brand to join the Frasers retail vehicle, after the group picked up House of Fraser, Game, Evans Cycles, Jack Wills and Sofa.com in similar deals.

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