Mamas & Papas follows Mothercare into administration

Nursery chain bought back by private equity owner Bluegem in pre-pack administration deal, though six stores will close and dozens of jobs are axed

Written by Rhys Thomas

Posted 08.11.2019 | Retail

Mamas & Papas follows Mothercare into administration thumbnail

Mamas & Papas has closed six stores and made more than 70 staff redundant after falling into administration just days after its high street rival Mothercare went under.

But the nursery chain will avoid calling in administrators after being sold off in a pre-pack deal to Bluegem Capital, the private equity firm that has owned the retailer since 2014.

Through the pre-pack agreement, Bluegem will be able to shed some of its financial liabilities, such as the six stores it will close in Milton Keynes, Aberdeen, Preston, Lincoln, Leamington and Fareham.

The remaining 21 stores will remain open, thought Mamas & Papas bosses say the 54 jobs at Huddersfield HQ will be put under review.

“These actions are always difficult but they are also necessary in a challenging market to ensure Mamas & Papas achieves its considerable future potential,” said Mamas & Papas chairman Riccardo Cincotta.

“We will continue to review our store portfolio in the light of customers’ changing behaviour and we remain fully committed to an omni-channel offering that reflects their evolving needs.”

Bluegem acquired Mamas & Papas after the retailer filed for a CVA and closed half its store estate five years ago. The new owner reportedly pumped around £20m into the business.

Earlier this week Mothercare announced it would cease trading completely in the UK, shutting its entire bricks and mortar estate in phased closures and ending its online business. A skeleton crew will be kept on to run Mothercare’s international business, which has around 1,000 franchises and is still a profitable business.  

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