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Bonmarche directors sell shares to Philip Day

As Philip Day has gained control of Bonmarche, there are questions over whether it can be saved. Rick Smith, managing director of company rescue and insolvency specialists Forbes Burton, said: “With his track record, Philip Day will probably be adequately placed to be able to save Bonmarche, but it won’t be without some challenging days ahead".

With Bonmarche's CEO Helen Connolly and finance director Stephen Alldridge having sold their shares,  and its non-executive director Ishbel Macpherson following suit, after its third-largest investor Cavendish Asset Management threw in the towel, Spectre Holdings  now has control of 67 per cent of the shares and needs just 75 per cent to take the business private and attempt to turn it around.

An inevitable consequence will be store closures as many have been under performing and this will mean job losses for store staff as well as a culling at head office with significant rationalisation in buying and distribution functions. Bonmarche will fit well into the Edinburgh Woollen Mill group of companies which includes a significant number of mature market brands and will arguably stand the best chance of survival as part of the larger group. In the past there would have been a considerably larger pool of prospective buyers but which means that Day may well landed the brand at a bargain price.

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