Extra administrator appointed for Laura Ashley

A third joint administrator has been appointed for Laura Ashley amid pressures caused by the coronavirus crisis.

The high-street firm filed for administration in March appointing advisers from PwC to oversee the process.

It blamed the impact of Covid-19 for tipping it over the edge.

Rob Lewis and Zelf Hussain of PwC were appointed joint administrators for the fashion and furnishings retailer.

At an insolvency court hearing on Thursday, an application was made for another joint administrator to be appointed for the Laura Ashley group.

Madeleine Jones, counsel for the applicants, said that the application for a third administrator to be added was being made “out of an abundance of caution” as Mr Lewis “has a lot of competing duties”.

This is “unsurprising” she said, given “the current economic crisis that is going alongside with the health crisis”.

She added that the application had not been made “out of any difficulty that has already arisen”.

Judge Catherine Burton made an order approving the appointment.

The third administrator is Rachael Wilkinson, a PwC director, PwC later confirmed.

Laura Ashley announced in March that it would be cutting 268 jobs, mainly affecting staff in its headquarters and back office roles.

The announcement came after the retailer said it would permanently close 70 stores, after filing for administration.

The administration came after a challenging period for the brand, which saw pre-tax losses balloon to £4 million in 2019.

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