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Duff and Phelps and Mike Ashley

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Duff and Phelps


Rangers powerbroker Mike Ashley appoints Duff and Phelps as administrators to his ailing fashion chain USC


Jan 08, 2015 17:22

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SPORTS Direct chief tasks former Ibrox administrators with saving hundreds of Scots jobs in high street clothing stores.



MIKE ASHLEY has appointed Duff and Phelps as administrators to his ailing fashion chain USC.


Hundreds of Scottish jobs could be lost at the clothing giant after it filed notice of its intention to appoint receivers.


Duff and Phelps became engulfed in controversy when they were appointed administrators by Craig Whyte when Rangers went bust in 2012.


In November, three members of the firm – Paul Clark, David Whitehouse and David Grier – were detained during dawn raids across the UK and were later arrested as police probed events surrounding the takeover of Rangers in 2011.


The case is still due to go to court but the firm is now back in the spotlight with the news that Rangers powerbroker Ashley has chosen the New-York based firm to act as administrators.


The Sports Direct owner bought an 80 per cent share in USC four years ago for £7m.


It was reported on Wednesday around 100 staff at USC warehouse in Dundonald had been told in a meeting they would be made redundant by Sunday.


USC, which employs around 1,000 staff across 90 retail stores – including 10 in Scotland - filed a notice of intention to appoint receivers to USC at the High Court on Tuesday.


The move to appoint administrators was reportedly promoted by a demand filed on December 15 from the fashion brand Diesel for unpaid debts.


USC, which was launched in Edinburgh in 1989 as a designer clothing store, has yet to make a statement.


The chain operates four stores in Glasgow – Braehead, Buchanan Street, Sauchiehall Street and Forge – along with stores in Edinburgh, East Kilbride, Inverness, Falkirk, Perth and Stirling.


Ashley acquired the USC business in 2011, taking an 80 per cent stake in what was a subsidiary of Scots entrepreneur Sir Tom Hunter's West Coast Capital group along with Cruise clothing in a £7m deal.


Sir Tom Hunter had also taken a £1 million stake in Sports Direct in 2011.


The 58-store USC chain previously collapsed into administration in 2009, and Sir Tom then acquired 43 of the stores out of administration in a controversial pre-pack deal, which had saved the jobs of more than 1,100 staff.


All the links now seem to be coming transparent.

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Ashley may as well sit in the directors box and fling out the 'vicky' for 90 minutes.


He's ripping the piss!


You now have to start asking if he has set this whole charade up from the very beginning. Send Whyte in to get rid of the tax case and then pull the strings.Or am I paranoid?

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