Collapsed Jeanswest sold back to wealthy Hong Kong family after firing 300 workers

Jeanswest

Collapsed denim retailer Jeanswest will be sold back to the wealthy Hong Kong family that placed the chain into voluntary administration back in January, albeit without 31% of its original workforce.

Harbour Guidance, an Australian company tied to Chun Fan Yeung — a shareholder in Jeanswest’s previous owner Howsea Limited — will become the ‘new’ owner of the now significantly slimmed down chain.

The commercial terms of the deal have not been disclosed, but almost a third of the 988 people employed by Jeanswest before its collapse have lost their jobs.

Announcing the sale on Tuesday morning, KPMG administrators said 106 of the 146 Jeanswest stores that were trading before the administration will remain open, subject to landlords agreeing to revised lease terms.

At least 680 employees are expected to retain their roles, leaving 308 without jobs as a result of the restructure.

The Yeung family’s investment vehicle Howsea placed Jeanswest into voluntary administration back in January, having bought the company from Glorious Sun Enterprises for HK$220 million ($41 million) in 2017.

Chun Fan Yeung is also the chief executive and vice chairman of Glorious Sun, while Charles Yeung is the chairman and founder.

In a short statement, George Yeung, managing director of Yeung-family owned Harbour Guidance, claimed the family is “committed to continue servicing Australian communities” by growing the Jeanswest brand.

“The acquisition of Jeanswest business will present an opportunity to rejuvenate this iconic brand well known to the Australian community,” he said in a statement on Tuesday.

Administrator James Stewart billed the sale as a “great result for all parties” in a statement.

“Retail is a people business and the administrators greatly appreciate the resilience of the Jeanswest staff through the administration process,” he said.

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