Thursday 28 March 2019 4:49 pm

Chinese offer comes in for LK Bennett days before administrators set to finalise deal

City A.M’s industry and manufacturing correspondent. You can follow me on @alexmdaniel, or email:

City A.M’s industry and manufacturing correspondent. You can follow me on @alexmdaniel, or email:

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A Chinese firm which supplies retailer LK Bennett has weighed in on the fight to buy the chain from administrators, as hopes grow the majority of its workers will retain their jobs.

Byland UK, a newly incorporated company, has been set up with the objective of buying LK Bennett, Sky reported.

Read more: Footwear chain Dune makes bid for LK Bennett

Filings on Companies House indicated the two directors of the company are Feng Kangjie and Zhou Cuiqing. Their company is understood to be a significant supplier to the retailer.

A source told Sky Byland had approached former LK Bennett chief and finance director Darren Topp and Andrew Ellis about helping with the offer.

Administrators at EY were expected to finalise a deal to sell the chain within days, before the Chinese bid came in.

An insider told Sky Byland has put forward the highest-value offer for the retailer, but it is unclear how viable the transaction is.

Yesterday it emerged footwear chain the Dune Group had tabled an offer for the retailer.

Read more: LK Bennett collapses into administration

Dune, which operates 40 standalone stores and 175 concessions in the UK, was one of a handful of potential buyers to submit final bids earlier this week, Sky reported.

The offer comes weeks after founder Linda Bennett, who bought back the business in 2017, drafted in consultancy firm Alix Partners to advise on options for the firm’s future. But the fashion chain ultimately fell into administration, putting roughly 500 jobs at risk.