Struck out: Mike Ashley to close down Matches after paying US$64 million for it

Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group has decided to put UK-based luxury e-commerce platform Matches into administration, less than three months after buying the firm for US$64 million.

Frasers told Retail Gazette that the business consistently missed its targets and continued to make material losses.

“Whilst Matches’ management team has tried to find a way to stabilise the business, it has become clear that too much change would be required to restructure it and the continued funding requirements would be far in excess of amounts that the group considers to be viable.”

The group has filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators after a number of brands terminated their partnership with the site, Sky News reported. According to insiders, it is most likely that Frasers would seek to retain control through a pre-pack insolvency deal.

Retail industry sources also told Sky News that Frasers had tried to secure sizeable discounts from suppliers in recent weeks, with some brands said to have been disgruntled by the approach.

Frasers acquired Matches from the private equity firm Apax Partners for a headline price of about £50 million (US$64 million) in December. The deal also included refinancing roughly £20 million in debt owed by the platform.

Founded in 1987, Matches sells fashion products from various brands including Balenciaga, Gucci and Valentino. The platform boasted more than 100 million annual visits to its website and app in recent years.

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