Dirty knickersAshley's (or Four's) acquisition of exclusive lingerie retailer Agent Provocateur was confirmed on Thursday, weeks after private equity owner 3i put it up for sale. Not everyone was impressed with the deal: in an interview with City A.M. yesterday Joe Corre, the brand's founder (and the son of fashion designer Vivienne Westwood) complained the brand had been "dropped like a pair of dirty knickers".
The deal is a scandal on many levels. It is a scandal primarily because there was a higher bidder on the table [Quadro Capital reportedly offered £35m for the business] who would’ve saved a majority of the jobs and the international presence of the brand.
“Mike Ashley has already confirmed he’s closing down the entire international side of the business," he added. "He’s going to buy the stock and he’s going to keep a few stores in the UK running – everything else is going. None of the creditors will be paid which means the factories will close which means the jobs will be lost. The taxman is not going to get paid either, it’s a disaster.”