Approximately 1,000 jobs are being salvaged at one of Britain’s largest chains of hair salons after a rescue deal was struck with administrators.
Sky News has learnt that Lee Bushell, an entrepreneur, has agreed to buy 140 outlets trading under the Supercuts and Regis brands across the UK.
The deal, which is expected to be announced later on Wednesday, will involve the closure of about 60 sites, according to insiders.
It is thought that around 200 jobs may be lost as a result of the closures.
Nevertheless, the salvaging of a substantial number of jobs represents a rare piece of good news on the high street following another torrid year for retailers, restaurant operators and other chains.
The rescue deal comes seven weeks after Regis UK collapsed into administration, thwarting a bid by prominent high street landlords to overturn a financial restructuring.
Mr Bushell, who is believed to have struck a deal with administrators at Deloitte through a private vehicle, is also understood to have reached an agreement with the US-based company which owns the rights to the Regis and Supercuts brands.
Regis UK was sold by its US parent to a private equity firm called Regent in 2017.
Deloitte was called in as administrator to the business ahead of a legal challenge to Regis UK’s Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA), an agreement with creditors that would have involved steep rent cuts at many of its sites.
Last December, landlords including British Land and Hammerson filed an appeal to challenge Regis’s CVA in the courts.
The proposed restructuring, which was approved by the required majority of creditors in October 2018, would have involved rent cuts of up to 100% at 100 of its sites.
The move to put the business into administration further underlined the fragile relationship that exists between major landlords and retail tenants as dire trading conditions have forced chains to seek compromise agreements with creditors.
Store owners have become dismayed by the deluge of CVAs, bringing the fate of Arcadia Group, Sir Philip Green’s Dorothy Perkins-to-Top Shop empire, to the brink of collapse earlier this year when they threatened to block the tycoon’s rescue plan.
British Land also mounted a legal challenge to the financial restructuring of Monsoon Accessorize, the fashion retailer, but subsequently settled.
Deloitte declined to comment, while Mr Bushell could not be reached.