Textile tycoon makes move on Peacocks

Kasmira Jefford
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A PAKISTANI textile billionaire is understood to be putting together a surprise bid to rescue Peacocks with the collapsed retailer’s management team.

The fashion chain went into administration last month in the biggest retail collapse since Woolworths, after plans to restructure the company broke down and banks pulled the plug on funding.

Alshair Fiyaz, who is worth an estimated £3bn, is working with Solstra Capital, a Danish investment fund part-owned by Fiyaz that manages £1bn of assets. It is expected to submit a second-round bid tomorrow, it was reported yesterday.

He is understood to be working with Peacocks’ managing director Tim Bettley, and other members of its senior management team including Roy Ellis, finance director.

Peacock’s administrators KPMG received six first round bids last Monday but interest from private equity bidders is believed to have dimmed.

KPMG has already announced 249 redundancies from Peacocks head office in Cardiff last month and more than 8,000 jobs are at risk if the administrators do not find a buyer for the firm.

Fiyaz has been involved in some retail deals in the past, including the purchase of Danish department store business Magasin du Nord by Solstra Capital three years ago, which was then leased to Debenhams.

However, his main interests lie with his shipping and financial services business ALFI Investments.

● Peacocks owns 563 stores and 48 concessions across Northern Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales

● The retailer had around £750m of debt and made an £80m pre-interest profit in 2010.