Hamleys owner files for bankruptcy

The Baugur Group files for bankruptcy after court rejects application for extended protection from its creditors.
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The collapse of the parent company comes a month after the administrators of state-owned Icelandic bank, Landsbanki pushed the UK arm into administration, enabling it to seize control of holdings in Hamleys and other retailers.

The latest news comes after chairman and founder, Jón Ásgeir Jóhannesson, attempted to buy more time to restructure the firm’s $1.3bn (£940m) debts, but a Reykjavik court refused to extend its standstill agreement.

Its liquidation will mean that stakes in retailers including Hamleys will effectively fall into Icelandic state ownership.

Following the administration of the UK arm, however, Hamleys issued a statement confirming trading would be unaffected by the changes, with news later coming in of potential buyers circling the firm.

Johannesdottir commented: "The management and employees of Baugur have been working hard to save the company's assets in co-operation with its creditors since the collapse of the Icelandic banking system in October 2008. The board of directors would like to express gratitude to the employees and everyone else the company has had the pleasure of working with in recent years."


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