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350 jobs at risk as Links of London falls into administration

The jewellery retailer has become the latest casualty of the high street decline after struggling in ‘difficult trading conditions’.

Links of London has become the latest high street chain to go into administration (Nick Ansell/PA)
Links of London has become the latest high street chain to go into administration (Nick Ansell/PA)

By Henry Saker-Clark, PA City Reporter

High street jewellery retailer Links of London has gone into administration, putting 350 jobs at risk.

The retailer has appointed Deloitte as administrators in an attempt to secure a rescue sale, while the business continues to trade.

Links sells luxury British jewellery, watches, cufflinks and gifts from 28 standalone stores and seven concessions across the UK and Ireland.

Deloitte said the retailer has struggled to cope with “difficult trading conditions” which have weighed on a number of other UK high street chains.

The British brand is owned by troubled Greek company Folli Follie, which was plunged into crisis over a fraud related to overstating sales.

The owners considered a CVA (Company Voluntary Arrangement) restructuring process, refinancing or a straight sale but were unable to conclude a deal.

The administrators said that “in light of ongoing cash flow pressures”, the firm’s directors were left with “no choice” but to place it into administration.

Deloitte said the business intends to continue to trade while it seeks out sale options, but said it could sell stock and assets over a period of trading “for the benefit of the company’s creditors”.

Links, which was founded in 1990, saw sales slide 12% to £42.9 million and plunged to a £20.5 million pre-tax loss in its most recently filed accounts for the year to December 2017.

Vulture fund Hilco and Sports Direct tycoon Mike Ashley were linked to the retailer as it sought a buyer last month.

Matt Smith, joint administrator for Links of London, said: “The company is well-known in its market, having been present on British high streets for almost 30 years.

“This is not the outcome we hoped for and will of course be difficult news for employees and their families.

“We appreciate the support of management and we will continue to support employees through this time.”

PA

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