Pumpkin Patch receivers seeking buyers

Pumpkin Patch in Victoria Ave, Whanganui will be closing this week as company goes into receivership. Photo / Bevan Conley.
Pumpkin Patch in Victoria Ave, Whanganui will be closing this week as company goes into receivership. Photo / Bevan Conley.

The receivers for struggling children's clothing chain Pumpkin Patch are continuing to look for a buyer for the business after announcing a bunch of store shutdowns and job cuts last week.

KordaMentha, the receiver for the ailing retailer, had said late last month it had received interest in the business from a few parties.

Joseph Hayes, of administrators McGrathNicol, told a creditors' meeting on Monday that the potential sale process was continuing.

"The receivers are seeking expressions of interest to have the business sold in the coming days. We have no details on that but I know they are doing everything to get good value," Mr Hayes said.

The New Zealand-headquartered children's clothing specialist was placed into voluntary administration on October 26, with major creditor ANZ appointing KordaMentha as receivers.

Last week, the receivers announced that 27 of the retailer's Australian stores will be closed, laying off up to 145 staff.

They had earlier announced seven store closures in New Zealand, which would also result in job losses there.

Pumpkin Patch, which started as a mail order company in 1990, listed on the New Zealand stock exchange in 2004.

The group is believed to owe between $45-50 million to ANZ alone, with total creditors owed about $80 million.

The company posted an 11 per cent decline in FY16 sales at $212.4 million, with after-tax loss of $9.1 million.

Last year, the retailer spurned a number of buyers interested in the business, saying at the time that the offers weren't compelling enough for the board to consider seriously.

Instead, it outlined a four-year turnaround program in an effort to lift its trading performance.

On Monday, the administrators told the creditors' meeting in Sydney the company's directors were yet to submit a statement of affairs outlining the current financial situation of the business.

A second creditors' meeting will be held after November 16, depending on the progress made in the sale process, Mr Hayes said.

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf02 at 26 Feb 2017 03:10:45 Processing Time: 569ms