Laura Ashley saved from collapse by £20m lifeline from US bank Wells Fargo
Laura Ashley has been granted a lifeline to stave off collapse. The retailer, famous for its floral dresses and homeware, said US bank Wells Fargo had agreed to let it access a £20million loan to stay afloat.
Its Malaysian owner, MUI Asia, had been in last-ditch talks with the lender to get its hands on the cash.
Because strict conditions regarding product stock levels and customer payments were breached, Wells Fargo was holding back the money.
Fashion retailer Laura Ashley, famous for its floral dresses and homeware, said US bank Wells Fargo had agreed to let it access a loan to stay afloat
But yesterday Laura Ashley said: ‘The group should be able to utilise requisite funds from its working capital facility with Wells Fargo to meet its immediate requirements.’
Shares jumped 15.2 per cent, or 0.25p, to 1.9p. MUI Asia, run by chairman Andrew Khoo, has refused to put more money into Laura Ashley in the short term.
The chain’s popularity has declined in the UK and efforts to tout its wares to Asian shoppers have fallen flat – in August it announced a £14million loss in the year to June 30 compared to a £100,000 profit 12 months earlier.
In the 26 weeks to December 31, sales slid by 10.8 per cent to £109.6million.