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Jeweller Links of London‎ races to find buyer within days

Links of London, one of Britain’s best-known jewellery chains, is racing to secure a buyer within days‎ as its crisis-hit owner seeks to offload the business.

Sky News has learnt that Links of London’s owner, the troubled Greek company Folli Follie, has asked potential buyers to table offers next week.

Sources said on Thursday that it was “almost inevitable” that a sale would take place through a pre-pack administration, or that a post-transaction restructuring would be required.

The future of Links has been in doubt for several months.

The chain, which trades from around 20 standalone stores and a large number of concessions, is said to be losing upwards of £10m on sales of just £20m.


One party which has looked at a bid said the business was likely to be worth little more than the value of its stock and “a few million pounds” for the Links brand.

Deloitte, the accountancy firm, is handling the sale process on behalf of the jeweller.

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Links was established in 1990 by husband-and-wife team John Ayton and Annushka Ducas, before being sold to Folli Follie in 2006.

The Athens-listed company has been plunged into crisis over a fraud relating to overstated sales.

Links has already axed its physical retail outlets in the US, closed 16 UK stores and slashed marketing and other central costs.

The identity of potential bidders was unclear but industry sources said they were likely to include turnaround funds.

If Links does pursue a pre-pack administration, it would become the latest in a string of retailers to be forced into insolvency amid brutal high street trading conditions.


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