Seven weeks to the day (and almost to the minute) after announcing that Clintons was being put up for sale (https://www.pgbuzz.net/clintons-is-put-up-for-sale/), Sky News broke the news last Friday (November 1) that the UK’s second largest greeting card retailer was to meet up with landlords to discuss a possible Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA).
For the CVA to go ahead it would need to reach 75% acceptance from Clintons’ creditors. Trade creditors (ie publishers and companies supplying Clintons) are highly likely to vote in favour of the CVA, but landlords are becoming increasingly weary of these arrangements, which result in downward renegotiations of the shop rents.
KPMG, the accountancy firm appointed by the Weiss family who own Clintons, knows the score as it also handled the Paperchase CVA.
This latest development follows on from bids being sought to buy Clintons, the 334-store chain, outright. (https://www.pgbuzz.net/first-stage-offers-of-intent-bids-are-in-for-clintons/). While PG Buzz understands that several bids were received for the business, from those both within and outside the sector, these were rejected.
Back in mid September, referring to any outcome for the business, Eddie Shepherd, ceo of Clintons told PG Buzz: “It will be an open and transparent process that we anticipate being concluded in 12-20 weeks. Right now though, we are progressing to make the most of our Christmas trade”.
It has not been said how many of Clintons’ stores are likely to close if a CVA does go ahead as this will depend on the attitudes of the landlords. In the case of Paperchase, it resulted in the closure of 11 stores.
Top: Clintons is considering a CVA.