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Despite Ted Baker’s North American operating partners following suit of their European counterparts into administration, Authentic Brands Group re-commits to seeking a new UK partner to run the business.

According to an Authentic spokesperson, the company is seeking a new partner to run the business, and its U.K.-based design office, U.K. website and wholesale operations remain in operation.“

“We are close to finalizing agreements with new partners to operate Ted Baker’s concessions, wholesale distribution and e-commerce businesses,” an Authentic spokesperson told WWD.

“We remain committed to Ted Baker and are optimistic about the brand’s future.”

Late last month, the Ted Baker Group along with OSL Fashion Services, a Canada-based firm that specialises in retail operations, distribution and digital marketing, filed court-supervised restructuring proceedings and hired Alvarez & Marsal Canada to monitor the business and its financial affairs.

At the same time, the Ted Baker Group filed Chapter 15 in the US Bankruptcy Court in New York. That designation is a motion to recognizse the proceedings from Canada. Since then, nearly its entire fleet of staff  – 350 in the US and 280 in Canada – have been axed.

Ted Baker operates 34 stores in the US and nine in Canada. Liquidation sales started last week and the process will include the merchandise, fixtures, furniture and equipment at the stores and warehouses. On 10 May, the e-commerce site was also closed.

OSL also holds the license for two other Authentic-owned brands, Lucky Brand and Brooks Brothers, in Canada, and those stores too are being liquidated.

In court papers, the Ted Baker Group said the bankruptcy filings were necessary due to “liquidity constraints caused in part by negative cash flows and working capital issues as well as the threat of the immediate termination of their key license agreements with ABG . . . [and to] provide the breathing room necessary to stabilize and maintain the Ted Baker Group’s business while considering their restructuring alternatives.”

This news comes a month after ABG placed Ted Baker’s U.K. and European retail and e-commerce businesses into administration. In March, the company was forced to call in administrators Teneo after it terminated the company’s contract with AARC, which operated the British-founded brand’s retail stores and e-commerce platform in the UK and Europe.

Since then, Frasers Group has emerged as the frontrunner on UK soil to scoop up the failing business. Earlier this month, it was reported that Frasers was close to securing a deal to take over Ted Baker’s British operations. Next is also in the wings, battling it out for the acquisition.



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