Hammonds brought in by tycoon for Adams childrenswear purchase

Hammonds scored the first advisory role for retail entrepreneur John Shannon’s newly formed company, which has bought Adams childrenswear.

Shannon instructed Hammonds national head of business recovery and insolvency John Alderton for the first time after building bonds with the firm through corporate and real estate work with his colleagues, including M&A partner Simon Gordon.

The decision to sell Adams came shortly before Christmas, when Adams’ holding company Myriad Childrenswear embarked on a disposal process after the children’s store, which has an annual turnover of £251m, made substantial losses that could not be resolved by previous refinancings.

PricewaterhouseCoopers, advised by DLA Piper restructuring partner Simon Neilson-Clark, was brought in to handle a prepackaged insolvency of Adams, which was advised by Pinsent Masons senior associate Sarah Simpson.

On 26 January the preferred buyer was whittled down to the newly formed company backed by Shannon, the former chairman of shoe chain Stead & Simpson.

Despite 42 Adams branches being closed last Monday (5 February), the deal, which concluded on 2 February, means 273 outlets across the UK will remain open.

Alderton said the deal took a little more than four days to ensure continuity in the business. “This put a real pressure on all the advisers involved and it’s a real credit to the teams on all sides that we’ve been able to conclude the deal so quickly,” he said.