Mike Ashley's USC goes into administration with hundreds of jobs at risk

Guy Bentley
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USC goes into administration (Source: Getty)

Hundreds of jobs could be lost at Mike Ashley's fashion chain USC after filing a notice of the intention to appoint receivers at the High Court yesterday.

A third of USC's 90 stores, which are believed to employ 1,000 staff are set to close. On Wednesday morning, dozens of staff at the USC warehouse in Dundonald Ayrshire were given their notice of redundancy.

The staff were not informed why they were being made redundant. The warehouse employs 100 workers. Trucks from Sports Direct arrived at the warehouse yesterday to take goods to Shirebrook, Nottingham.

Duff & Phelps will act as the administrators. Mike Ashley's Sports Direct bought an 80 per cent share in USC in 2011 for £7m. Three years previously, USC was put into administration but was later rescued with 43 stores bought back in a pre-pack deal by West Coast Capital.

Fashion label Diesel's request for payment of overdue debts appears to have been the genesis for the decision to file with the High Court's Chancery Division, according to documents seen by the Telegraph. The request was made in December during a meeting of USC directors.

Sports Direct International, which Ashley has a 58 per cent share, owns a host of other retailers including Lillywhites, Flannels, Pulp and Cruise.

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