Oroton's 62 stores to continue trading as administrators move into luxury handbag chain

Oroton's 62 stores to continue trading as administrators move into luxury handbag chain
Oroton's 62 stores to continue trading as administrators move into luxury handbag chain

Oroton stores will operate as usual after the 79-year-old luxury handbag retailer fell into voluntary administration.

"The board is disappointed that it has had to take this step after running such a comprehensive process," interim chief executive Ross Lane, the grandson of Oroton founder Boyd Lane, said in a statement to the ASX on Thursday.

"However, having carefully considered the options available to the company at the conclusion of its strategic review, it is apparent that voluntary administration is necessary to protect the Oroton business and the future of this iconic Australian brand."

The group's 62 Oroton stores across Australia, New Zealand and Malaysia, which employ about 550 staff, will continue to operate as administrators from Deloitte Restructuring Services look at recapitalising or selling the brand.

The Lane family have a 22% stake, with fund manager Will Vicars having an 18% stake.

Entities controlled by Vicars entered a put and call arrangement with Westpac to secure critical credit support for Oroton in August.

Oroton sank to a $14.3 million loss in the year to July, compared to a $3.4 million profit the previous year.

Contributing to the loss were costs linked to its wind-down of its Gap franchise after it terminated an agreement with the US apparel group.

The group's shares, which have been suspended, last traded at 43.5 cents.

The company's December 1 annual general meeting has been postponed.

The first creditors meeting is set for December 11.

"However, having carefully considered the options available to the company at the conclusion of its strategic review, it is apparent that voluntary administration is necessary to protect the Oroton business and the future of this iconic Australian brand," the board advised the ASX.

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