SIA Group was engaged at short notice to review the property portfolio of 187 retail units and inventory as part of the CVA planning work for Genus UK Limited t/as Select Fashion, a value fashion chain with a portfolio of stores across the UK.
The CVA resulted in no closures across its 187 store portfolio and no redundancies, preserving some 1,500 jobs. The CVA structure created new categories of creditor, which had not been used before in other CVA’s, along with a number of additional elements. The proposal was greeted with approval from members of all creditor classes.
Following an initial meeting with the Company, Lawyers Shoosmiths and CVA Supervisors Quantuma, SIA Group was provided with a property schedule. Working from this the SIA property team prepared a detailed model itemising proposed rent reductions, effect of business rates, repairs liabilities/dilapidations and service charge obligations and provided advice on the terms to propose to creditors having categorised the stores.
“SIA was key in all aspects of dealing with the vital valuations and assessments of the Company’s property portfolio and inventory.”
A desktop due diligence exercise was undertaken in respect of all the stores, checking lease documentation, rent, and floor areas. Additionally 20% of the portfolio across the UK was inspected, which included a range of the company’s stores from their portfolio of prime and secondary shopping centres and high street properties.
Speed was an important factor with this project. The SIA team were asked to undertake this exercise in a tight timescale and delivered the advice from initial request in 15 days.
James Keates, Head of Restructuring and Insolvency, Shoosmiths said: “I have been thoroughly impressed with SIA Group’s professional attitude and retail property market knowledge. They understand our innovative Creditors Voluntary Arrangement (“CVA”) model and assisted us with the successful completion of the Select Fashion CVA. Their planning was meticulous and response to queries was immediate. This, combined with their practical property expertise, provides us with the responsiveness and accuracy that is needed on these high-profile assignments.”
Brian Burke, Director, Quantuma LLP, commented: “SIA was key in all aspects of dealing with the vital valuations and assessments of the Company’s property portfolio and inventory. Working in a time critical environment I was impressed by their focus, dedication and application. Their professionals added real value with their knowledge and expertise, they swiftly executed a highly challenging assignment and demonstrated exacting standards throughout. From planning to completion SIA provided detailed responses and much needed clarity that allowed us to successfully deliver the Select Fashion CVA.”
Paul Craig, Managing Director at SIA Group added: “Restructuring professionals rely on SIA Group for timely, independent and incisive advice. Where there are pressing time constraints and there is a need for urgent asset valuations, SIA Group comes into its own, working quickly and diligently to deliver certainty. ”