Aurora Fashions considers selling Coast

Aurora Fashion is considering a spin off of its formalwear fashion brand Coast in preparation for a potential sale, it is understood.

Coast, which has 41 standalone stores and over 150 concessions in the UK and a strong overseas presence, would follow womens fashion retailer Karen Millen which separated from the rest of the group in 2011 as the devolvement of brands continues.

According to The Independent, Aurora CEO Mike Shearwood is said to be mulling a management buy-out of Karen Millen though this is expected to be postponed until next year.

In 2009, Aurora, then operating as Mosaic Fashions, was bought out of administration and is now majority owned by Icelandic bank Kaupthing.

Last June, Coast opened a £1 million flagship store on London’s Oxford Street as it considered expansion in the hopes of showcasing the brand to tourists during the Olympic Games.

However, the group, which also owns retailers Warehouse and Oasis, reported a profit decline of 15.3 per cent to £12.7 million in the year to February 2012 and the recent announcement of the exit of Warehouse Managing Director Meg Lustman has increased concerns over the group’s future.

Aurora Fashions was unavailable for comment.


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