Queen's dressmaker to appoint administrator

Wed Oct 1, 2008 11:51am EDT
 
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LONDON (Reuters) - Hardy Amies, the fashion house that dressed Britain's Queen Elizabeth for more than 30 years, plans to file for administration after failing to find new sources of funding, though it added that talks continue.

"The board has approached and has been approached by various parties in relation to the potential provision of funding to support Hardy Amies' working capital requirements," the firm said in a statement on Wednesday.

"The board has, as yet, been unable to finalize an offer that would secure the future of the company. The board has therefore today taken the decision to file a notice of intention to appoint an administrator."

Hardy Amies' shares were suspended on London's junior Alternative Investment Market on Friday after it said major shareholder Arev Brands Ltd was unable to offer any more financial support.

A steady stream of Britain's retailers have gone into administration, a form of creditor protection, this year as shoppers cut spending amid rising food, fuel and mortgage costs.

Hardy Amies was appointed official dressmaker to Queen Elizabeth II in 1955.

In a long career on London's renowned tailoring thoroughfare, Savile Row, Amies dressed pop stars like the Beatles and Rolling Stones and designed suits for England's winning 1966 World Cup soccer team, as well as costumes for films, including "2001: A Space Odyssey."

He died in 2003 at the age of 93.

Hardy Amies shares closed at 1.25 pence on Thursday, valuing the business at about 2.8 million pounds ($5.2 million).

(Reporting by Mark Potter; editing by Sue Thomas)