Ex-Clerys directors offload Ben Sherman

Creditors may lose out as deal is completed through pre-pack administration

Former Clerys directors have sold Ben Sherman’s retail operation, putting up to 100 jobs on notice in its stores and at head office. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Former Clerys directors have sold Ben Sherman’s retail operation, putting up to 100 jobs on notice in its stores and at head office. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

 

I see Rafael Klotz and Malcolm MacAulay, the two Gordon Brothers executives who sold the now shuttered Clerys department store to Natrium, are keeping themselves busy in the cut-throat world of retail restructuring.

They are directors of the UK business, Ben Sherman, which was bought out last year in a deal backed by Gordon Brothers. It has just sold the iconic brand’s retail operation, putting up to 100 workers on notice in its stores and at head office.

Gordon Brothers installed former Clerys executive Simon Smith to run Ben Sherman last year but he is now expected to leave the business following the sale of the retail arm to BMB Clothing. The deal is being completed through a pre-pack administration, which means creditors could take a bath.

Klotz and MacAulay were the ones who signed off on Clerys accounts last June with a note to say it was being sold as a “going concern”, hours before they offloaded it to Natrium and it was put into liquidation.

They could yet end up in court over the Clerys transaction, as the former operator of the store’s cafes, Lorraine Sweeney, in December filed High Court documents in which she threatened to sue them personally.

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