Tesco is about to make an unexpected acquisition of the Paperchase brand, which will threaten hundreds of high-street employment.
The largest supermarket chain in the United Kingdom is in advanced negotiations to acquire Paperchase’s brand and other intellectual property through a pre-pack administration that may happen as soon as Tuesday.
According to those with direct knowledge of the situation, Tesco is unlikely to be interested in any of Paperchase’s stores, which means that the majority of its employees may be facing the possibility of losing their jobs.
On Tuesday morning, it was unclear if any further bidders were in active negotiations.
Tesco buys brand and intellectual property
The professional services company, Begbies Traynor, has been selected to handle the insolvency as a result of a recent PricewaterhouseCoopers selling procedure.
Just four months after its most recent ownership shift, Paperchase was placed on the market in the latter part of last year.
Steve Curtis, a seasoned retail investor who has worked with Tie Rack and Jigsaw, acquired the chain in August.
The deal last summer also included Retail Realisation, an industry advising company connected with Mr. Curtis and turnaround company Rcapital.
Paperchase entered administration in January 2021, making it one of the many retail victims of COVID-19.
Debenhams and Arcadia Group, the company that transformed Dorothy Perkins into TopShop, were two more famous high-street brands to fail during the epidemic.
Tesco to concentrate on the digital offering
It currently conducts business from about 100 outlets, and Mr. Curtis was reportedly in support of an existing management plan to increase that number to roughly 150 in the upcoming years at the time of the most recent takeover.
Since Paperchase’s most recent bankruptcy, Permira Credit, the previous owner, has made investments in its digital offering, new store openings, and executive hires.
At that time, Paperchase operated out of more than 125 locations throughout the UK and employed close to 1,300 employees.
Its outlets included concessions in several Next locations as well as House of Fraser and Selfridges.