Private equity firm buys Bonmarche from Peacocks

Private equity firm Sun European Partners has bought the budget fashion chain Bonmarche for an undisclosed sum in a pre-pack administration.

Sun European intend to close around a third of the chain's 394 stores, resulting in the loss of around 1,400 jobs.

2,300 staff will continue to be employed by the new owners.

Bonmarche was previously owned by Peacocks, the Welsh discount clothing firm that collapsed on 18 January after it failed to restructure its £240m debt pile. Administrators continue to seek a buyer for the other part of the business.

Potential investors are now analysing the remainder of the firm and the first round of bids are expected by Monday 31 January.

As many as 50 bidders are said to have expressed an interest in the beleaguered retailer, which owns 611 stores and employs 9,000 people – either as a going concern or for parts of its estate and its stock.