Links and Salans advise on Habitat administration

Linklaters and Salans have clinched top roles advising on the administration of furniture retailer Habitat.

The retailer’s UK division went into administration last Friday (24 June) and a team of administrators from Zolfo Cooper has been appointed to oversee the process, which involves selling the UK brand to Home Retail Group (HRG), which already owns Argos and Homebase.

Joint administrators Fraser Gray, Peter Saville, Anne O’Keefe and Scott Gaillie have appointed a team from Salans, led by partner Sonia Jordan, to provide insolvency advice, while Linklaters is advising HRG, led by relationship partner Iain Fenn.

Habitat has 33 stores across the UK and employs about 870 staff.

HRG has purchased three of Habitat’s London stores – those in Tottenham Court Road, Kings Road and Finchley Road – along with intellectual property, the online business and certain stock for an estimated £24.5m from private equity owners Hilco, which was also advised by Salans. About 130 staff will transfer across as a result of the sale.

The administrators will trade the remaining stores and head office while they assess options for the remaining parts of the businesses.

Salans’ appointment to the administration follows lead partner Sonia Jordan’s previous work advising on the administration of furniture retailer MFI in 2008 and Allied Carpets and Sofa Workshop in 2009, as well as regular work for Habitat’s private equity owners Hilco.