Friday 18 January 2019 8:55 am

Slippers and sleep: Mattress founder saves Mahabis from administration

Mahabis, the self-styled “Nike of downtime”, has been saved by a similarly cCHILL retailer – the owner of mattress maker Simba Sleep.

Founder James Cox’s investment boutique YYX Capital has snapped up Mahabis’ assets, after the luxury slipper retailer fell into administration over Christmas.

Read more: Mahabis drops into administration after mounting debts

Founded by trained criminal barrister Ankur Shah in 2014, Mahabis sold almost 1m pairs of slippers in more than 100 countries over four years of trading.

But it collapsed in late 2018 after owing creditors £2.6m in the 12 months to June 2017.

The purchase agreed with administrators KRE means Mahabis staff will be retained and supplier relationships will continue to exist, with the business set for growth, according to Cox, who will become interim chief executive.

“Shah and his team have built a great business in Mahabis which unfortunately just stumbled at a critical point,” Cox said.

“Mahabis has never raised any external capital, so with the right backing, we believe we can further grow Mahabis globally, and at speed. Its high margin product category with a large addressable market, both online and offline, and presents exactly the kind of value YYX are looking for.”

Cox wants to take Mahabis above the £25m sales it booked in 2016/17, aiming to build a £100m business within five years.

KRE said Mahabis received more than 70 expressions of interest in buying Mahabis.

“Once the administration process started Ankur Shah and his team worked tirelessly to achieve the best possible outcome for creditors which I firmly believe has been achieved,” said administrator Paul Ellison.

“James Cox and YYX Capital showed a real understanding of the business and had a very clear strategy on how to grow Mahabis while retaining its core team and unique corporate culture.”

Read more: All the high street giants that shut up shop in 2018

Shah added: “We achieved an enormous amount in a very short space of time. Whilst the decision to go in to administration was a difficult one, this was a great outcome for both employees and suppliers. Whilst I now plan to pursue other projects, I hope YYX can propel the brand in new and exciting directions.”