Monsoon owner Peter Simon delays restructuring plan to rescue the business

(qlmbusinessnews.com via theguardian.com – – Fri, 7th June 2019) London, Uk – –

Owner Peter Simon ‘taking extra precautions’ before negotiating with landlords

The owner of the Monsoon and Accessorize retail chains has delayed plans for a restructuring to rescue the business after landlords failed to back similar plans by Philip Green’s retail empire.

Peter Simon had planned to launch an insolvency procedure known as a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) as early as Friday, which would enable him to reduce the size of his stores and pay less rent.

The procedure, led by the advisory firm Deloitte, which is also acting for Green’s Arcadia Group, is not now expected to go ahead until next week at the earliest as Simon and his advisers continue to negotiate with landlords.Quick guide

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Simon, who founded Monsoon as a London market stall in the 1970s, is thought to have offered to pump £34m in new investment into the retail group, which has about 270 shops, in order to keep it afloat. Landlords have also asked for an equity stake in the business.

More than one source said Monsoon had been waiting to see how landlords responded to Arcadia’s CVA before moving ahead and was taking extra precautions before launching its plan.

Monsoon’s business structure means it is less reliant on the backing of landlords, with other creditors including clothing suppliers having a bigger share of the vote, but in other ways its story is seen as similar to that of Green’s empire.

Like the Green family, Simon has taken big dividend payouts from Monsoon over the years. The firm paid £5m to Adena Property, an offshore company he owned, in the year to August 2017. Its holding company also paid his family £116m in dividends between 2008 and 2013.

By Sarah Butler