Begbies Traynor Group

Eyewear chain sold out of administration, saving 80 job

Eyewear 1040x700
Date Published: 07/02/2024

The UK arm of global eyewear and optician chain, Ollie Quinn UK Limited, has been sold out of administration to OQ Eyewear Limited, with all stores remaining open and safeguarding the jobs of 80 employees.  

The terms of the sale see OQ Eyewear Limited acquire the business and assets of the company, including a two-year licence to use the Ollie Quinn brand in the UK.

The company, which was established in 2013 as Bailey Nelson London Limited before becoming Ollie Quinn UK Limited in 2017, built a reputation as a leading eyecare and eyewear brand, operating from a chain of 12 boutiques in London, Guildford, St Albans, Brighton, Manchester, and Bristol. However, the significant increase in operating costs and burden of Covid loan repayments created cash flow issues for the company.

The directors of the company sought early advice from Robert Insall at BTG Advisory LLP who undertook a review of the options and ran an accelerated process to solicit investment in the business, following which Julie Palmer and Andrew Hook of Begbies Traynor were appointed as joint administrators and oversaw the transaction. Kevin McAndrew of Eddisons provided a valuation of the business and assets of the company prior to sale. 

Commenting on the sale, Andrew Hook, joint administrator and partner at Begbies Traynor in Salisbury, said:

“Every possible effort was made to save the company as a going concern, due to the goodwill and future prospects of the business. However, with the company carrying debt and high operating costs in a challenging trading environment, this sale represents the best possible outcome in the circumstances and is due in no small part to the directors seeking advice early.

“We wish the new owners every success in the future.”

About The Author

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Robert is a Partner in the Advisory team based in our Exeter office and has recently joined the firm following the acquisition of his advisory practice. Robert has significant high level professional advisory experience having trained and worked at the leading magic circle law firm Linklaters before joining Barclays Bank, prior to setting up his own business.

Robert is an experienced board and debt advisory and turnaround specialist, non-executive director (NED), independent director and English qualified corporate, finance and restructuring lawyer. He provides specialist advice to businesses across a range of sectors, including public sector, technology, oil & gas, logistics, education, retail, real estate and construction, care, brokerage and financial services. His areas of expertise include debt advisory, risk management, legal and regulatory oversight, stakeholder negotiation, company management and operational improvement, working capital and cash management, restructuring, acquisitions, disposals and providing broad ranging expert, commercial and project management support.

Recent assignments have included a £50m financing and then refinancing of a major Midlands shopping centre, acting as NED in a number of situations, sourcing a £7m facility for a major residential development and contracting business and providing debt and transaction management support to a growing restaurant and hospitality business owned by a celebrity chef. Robert also provided debt advisory services to a major internet travel business, assisting them by managing and completing the financing for a €40m cross border secured financing.

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