Unbound Group, the parent company of Hotter Shoes, has been unable to secure £2 million in emergency financing and has made the decision to appoint administrators. In an announcement to the stock market, the company revealed that Interpath Advisory has been appointed as administrators, and its London-listed shares have been suspended.

The search for a buyer for the business concluded last month without any potential offers that would be supported by the shareholders. This includes discussions regarding the acquisition of the trade and assets of Beaconsfield Footwear, the main operating subsidiary of Unbound Group.

In order to protect the interests of its creditors and stakeholders, the board of Unbound Group has determined that further discussions should cease and steps should be taken to prevent OpCo from trading insolvently. Once administrators have been appointed, the intention is to sell the trade and assets of OpCo to a third-party purchaser as soon as possible. However, there is no guarantee that a sale will take place.

Unbound Group currently does not generate any operating revenues and is facing minimal cash balances and known creditors amounting to approximately £0.9 million. The company has encountered financial difficulties in recent years, which led to a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) in 2020 and the closure of 46 stores. It then repositioned itself as an online-first multi-brand retail platform targeting the 55+ demographic and secured fresh funding. However, challenges persisted due to inflation and an unpredictable consumer environment.

In May, Unbound Group announced the cancellation of a planned £10 million investment by Marwyn Investment Management due to a decline in revenue. Following a strategic review, the company initiated a formal sales process. Unbound Group’s AGM is scheduled for July 31st in London, where further updates will be provided if necessary.

This news highlights the ongoing struggles faced by Unbound Group, which has been unable to secure emergency financing and is now resorting to appointing administrators. Their efforts to find a buyer for the business have been unsuccessful, and the board believes that ceasing discussions and taking steps to prevent insolvent trading is the best course of action. The company’s financial situation and challenges in the retail industry have contributed to these difficulties. It remains to be seen whether a third-party purchaser will be found and if the trade and assets of OpCo can be successfully sold.

Useful links:
Reuters: Unbound Group Faces Financial Difficulties and Appoints Administrators
Hotter Shoes Official Website