Kuwait's Alshaya rescues 60 La Senza UK stores

LONDON - Kuwaiti retailer Alshaya has bought 60 La Senza UK stores, rescuing about 1,100 jobs, from the administrators of the stricken lingerie chain.

Alshaya bought the shops and UK brand in a so-called pre-pack deal after KPMG was appointed administrator to the company on Monday.

لا سينزا, Alshaya

Another 84 stores and 18 concessions had closed, the administrators said, resulting in about 1,300 job losses.

The company was owned by Lion Capital, which had announced 81 of the closures on December 30. The private equity company bought the business from Theo Paphitis, a star of the BBC business investment show Dragons' Den, in 2006.

Alshaya, which is an international franchise partner for a number of British retail brands including Mothercare, Debenhams, Boots and Next, said it planned to invest about 100 million pounds in the business.

"This is a strategic investment for us and a positive addition to our extensive international retail portfolio," executive chairman Mohammed Alshaya said in a statement.

"This is the first step in a long-term commitment to developing the La Senza UK business, which we believe has great potential."

The group said it already had a strong relationship with the U.S.-based owner of the La Senza brand, Limited Brands Inc through operating franchises of its Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body Works shops, as well as La Senza, elsewhere in the world.

La Senza's rescue came on the same day as JD Sports Fashion snapped up Blacks Leisure, another victim of tough trading conditions on Britain's high streets, in a pre-pack administration deal.

(Reporting by Paul Sandle; editing by James Davey)

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