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Bonmarche to Close 160 Stores After Sale to Sun European

Jan. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Bonmarche, the U.K. clothing chain owned by Peacock Group Plc, will close about 160 out of 390 stores after the retailer was sold to an affiliate of Sun European Partners by administrators KPMG LLP.

The business will keep operating 230 outlets after the transaction, securing about 2,400 of 3,800 jobs, the buyer said today in an e-mailed statement.

KPMG had been seeking a buyer for Bonmarche since being appointed this month as administrator to Peacock, which also owns Peacock’s Stores Ltd., a U.K. budget clothing chain. Peacock’s is the latest U.K. retailer to fall foul of a slump in consumer spending. Lingerie chain La Senza closed 84 stores and 18 concessions this month, while gift retailer Past Times said last week it shut 46 outlets and appointed KPMG as administrators.

Bonmarche caters to women aged over 45 and was acquired by Peacock Group in 2002, 20 years after it was founded.

Sun European is “ confident in putting a sustainable growth program in place and working with the management team to develop the business successfully,” Vice President Matthias Gundlach said in the statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Paul Jarvis in London at pjarvis@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Sara Marley at smarley1@bloomberg.net

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