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Last Updated: Tuesday, 3 January 2006, 19:19 GMT
Kookai goes into administration
Kookai fashion
Kookai was a once high-flying fashion chain
UK fashion chain Kookai has become the latest casualty on the High Street to call in administrators after one of the toughest years for retailers.

Debt-laden Forminster, the UK franchise holder for the brand, failed to renegotiate contract terms with Kookai's Paris-based parent.

But the business will continue to trade until a buyer is found, said administrators Deloitte.

Kookai trades from 25 UK stores and 30 concessions and employs 600 people.

Last month, DVD retailer MVC and wine retailer Unwins went into administration.

'Strong brand'

Various parties are already interested.
Neville Kahn, Deloitte

Trading in Forminster shares, which trade on the AIM market, were suspended on 22 December after it failed to reach an agreement with Kookai's French parent company Groupe Vivarte over brand licensing.

But administrators at Deloitte say they are confident that a buyer will be found soon, which would safeguard jobs.

"Various parties are already interested. We're looking for a rapid sale and want to have the process concluded within weeks," Deloitte partner Neville Kahn told Reuters.

"Kookai is a very strong retail brand."

The bankruptcy is the latest to hit the UK high street, which has suffered from weak consumer spending, forcing retailers to heavily discount goods to boost Christmas sales.

MVC, with 700 staff at about 70 stores, called in administrators on 21 December last year. Drinks retailer Unwins collapsed just days earlier.

Holiday shopping frenzy subsides
02 Jan 06 |  Business
Christmas boost for retail sales
21 Dec 05 |  Business
MVC chain calls in administrators
21 Dec 05 |  Business
Administrators come in at Unwins
19 Dec 05 |  Business

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