Oak Furnitureland rescued in administration deal, saving more than 1,400 jobs

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The UK’s largest retailer of oak furniture has been saved from the brink of collapse after being bought up in a pre-pack administration deal.

Oak Furnitureland was sold for an undisclosed sum to hedge fund Davidson Kempner, saving 1,491 jobs.

The retailer, which operates 105 showrooms in the UK, had been struggling with “adverse trading conditions” caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, according to administrators Deloitte.

The company has received substantial new funding provided by Davidson Kempner’s affiliated asset-lending platform, Breal Zeta Commercial Finance, as part of the deal.

Oak Furnitureland’s chief executive, Alex Fisher, will stay on to lead the management team and all employees have transferred as part of the acquisition.

Business operations will continue as normal, according to Deloitte, and showrooms and warehouses will begin to reopen in line with government guidance from today (June 17).


Deloitte has confirmed all deposits are protected and all existing orders will be fulfilled.

Mr Fisher said: “The deal announced today puts Oak Furnitureland on a stronger financial footing, enabling us to drive forward our clear plan for growth.

“We are a fantastic business with a loyal customer base and an omni-channel retail presence, and we are looking forward to working with our partners to ensure a successful future.”

Oak Furnitureland’s founder and principal shareholder, Jason Bannister, said he is “fully supportive” of the deal which will see ownership of the business transferred.

Rob Harding, joint administrator at Deloitte, added: “We have been working closely with the management team under difficult market conditions to try and find a funding solution and the deal announced today is a positive one which secures the future of the business.

“We would like to thank all of those involved in the transaction and wish the management team every success in now taking the business forward.”

The management team will work with suppliers, landlords and other partners to prepare the business for the “post-covid-19 environment”, according to Deloitte.

A phased withdrawal from the government’s furlough scheme is underway to support showrooms re-opening and deliveries increasing, it added.


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