24 June 2011

Habitat goes into administration

Retail restructuring specialist Hilco UK announces today a three-stage restructuring agreement designed to secure the future of the home furnishings business Habitat. Habitat has appointed Fraser Gray from Zolfo Cooper as Administrator to the business in the United Kingdom in order to enable a fundamental restructuring of the UK business. Habitat operates from 33 retail stores across the United Kingdom and has a head office in Princelet Street, London E1, employing 194 people. As part of the restructuring process, Home Retail Group, the owner of Argos and Homebase, has committed to acquire the rights to the Habitat brand within the United Kingdom, together with three flagship London stores (Tottenham Court Road, King’s Road and Finchley Road) and the rights to the e-commerce business. The remaining stores which are not being acquired by Home Retail Group will continue to trade as usual while the Administrator talks to interested parties.

Habitat will fulfill all existing orders and all customer deposits will be fully protected. Hilco has separately confirmed that it is in advanced talks with a major European listed business for the sale of the profitable European arm of Habitat.