October 31, 2018 / 8:56 AM / 14 days ago

UPDATE 1-UK meat retailer Crawshaw to appoint administrators, fails to raise funds

(Adds details on decision, industry background)

Oct 31 (Reuters) - Crawshaw Group Plc became the latest British retailer to be hit by tough trading conditions, as it announced plans on Wednesday to appoint administrators to seek buyers after failed discussions with investors to raise capital.

The Rotherham-based butcher, which said that it does not have sufficient cash to restructure, has requested its trading on LSE’s junior market to be suspended.

Crawshaw shares have lost 82.2 percent in value so far this year. Administrators are a form of creditor protection in the United Kingdom.

Crawshaw was launched in Yorkshire in 1954 and has 662 employees at 54 stores, with 42 on the High Street and the rest in the Midlands and North of England.

The company confirmed last week that it was considering actions including raising additional funding through an equity issue after reviewing its structure and investment in High Street locations.

British retailers, much like their global counterparts, have been hard hit by competition from Amazon.com Inc and other online shopping platforms. A rise in costs from the pound’s Brexit-induced weakness has also led to the collapse of several major High Street firms this year.

Crawshaw last month reported a double-digit drop in like-for-like sales and flagged that UK High Streets are under increasing pressure that was unlikely to change.

It brought in a new chief executive officer and chief financial officer to recover its struggling business, after announcing in March that its CEO and CFO would step down following a challenging start to the financial year. (Reporting by Muvija M in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr)

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