Ashurst and Travers advise as Carpetright becomes latest high street retailer forced into restructuring

Ashurst and Travers Smith are both advising as Carpetright becomes the latest in a string of high-profile retail restructurings to hit the high street.

The London-listed carpets retailer, which has issued three profit warnings since December, has finalised the terms of a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) in an effort to stave off formal insolvency.

Travers is acting for Carpetright with a team led by corporate finance partner Phil Cheveley, finance partners Ed Smith and Andrew Gregson and US securities partner Dan McNamee.

Ashurst, meanwhile, is advising sponsor and joint broker Peel Hunt and joint broker Deutsche Bank on the arrangement with a team led by equity capital markets partner Nicholas Holmes.

Carpetright will seek creditor approval of the proposal at a meeting on 26 April, with a meeting for shareholders then held at Travers’ London headquarters on 30 April.

Commenting on the CVA proposal, Carpetright CEO Wilf Walsh said: “These tough but necessary actions will enable us to address the burden of a legacy UK property estate consisting of too many poorly-located stores on unsustainable rents, and are essential if we are to restore our profitability and deliver a successful turnaround.”

High street CVAs have been commonplace in recent months, with Herbert Smith Freehills, Jones Day and Pinsent Masons taking roles as restaurant chain Byron Burger agreed a CVA in February.

The following month, Paul Hastings and Sidley Austin took lead roles as clothing store New Look entered a restructuring deal in an effort to reduce rental costs and revise lease terms across 393 stores.

Other firms to have picked up roles on recent restructurings include Eversheds Sutherland for electronics retailer Maplin, Kirkland & Ellis for Toys R Us, and Addleshaw Goddard and DLA Piper, which advised on UK grocery wholesaler Bestway’s pre-pack acquisition of drinks chains Wine Rack and Bargain Booze.