Feather & Black is sold saving Chichester jobs

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Scores of jobs in Chichester have been saved with the sale of Feather & Black announced just days before Christmas.

The majority of the national furniture business and its assets have been sold to Hilding Anders International, a bedding and mattress company operating throughout Europe, Russia and Asia, Feather & Black Limited administrator Duff & Phelps announced today (Tuesday, December 19.)

Feather & Black’s head office and warehouse is located in Terminus Road in Chichester and of the 123 people employed across the business nationwide, 104 jobs will be saved – including all staff at the Chichester headquarters – Duff & Phelps announced.

Under the terms of the sale Hilding Anders has acquired 17 out of a total of 20 stores.

Three stores – and five concessions within Multiyork stores – will however be closed, Duff & Phelps said, adding that the Feather & Black brand will be retained and continue to have a presence on the UK High Street.

Furniture chain Multiyork was also owned by Feather & Black owners the Wade family and both went into administration in November.

A spokesman for Duff & Phelps, which is also seeking a buyer for Multiyork, said there was ‘no announcement on its store closures at this stage’, though signs have gone up in the Chichester Multiyork store in East Street announcing its closure.

Allan Graham, joint administrator at Duff & Phelps, said: “The joint administrators continued to trade Feather & Black in administration with a view to finding a purchaser for the business as a going concern, so we are delighted that we have been able to secure a future for the brand, the business and over 100 employees who work for the retailer.”

Mr Graham added: “The majority of the stores have been sold to one of the best known brands in the bedroom furniture sector securing the future for Feather & Black and a large number of its valued employees.

“This is a tremendous result for the business.”

Feather & Black was founded in 2005 and has 25 retail stores nationwide, including concessions within Multiyork Furniture.

A legal team at Eversheds Sutherland, led by restructuring partner Mark Wood, acted for Duff & Phelps on the transaction.

Pepyn Dinandt, chairman and group CEO of Hilding Anders, said: “I am very excited by this opportunity to re-enter the UK market with F&B.

“F&B has a strong market position, excellent customer loyalty and a deep heritage within the UK market.

“We will build on F&B’s solid platform and grow the business across both stores and eCommerce.

“We will continue with F&B’s current customer and product positioning whilst also looking at further ways to improve our productivity and profitability.”

Joanne Bennett, Hilding Anders group CFO, added: “As a UK national, I have been aware of what the F&B brand stands for, the quality of its products and a regular visitor to my local F&B store for many years.

“I am also very excited by this opportunity to work with the team to build on the brand strength and grow the business together.”