Birmingham firms play key role in sale of Adams chain
Birmingham childrenswear company Adams has been sold to a Pakistani business conglomerate – just six months after being pulled out of a difficult administration that cost the jobs of more than 1,100 people.
JHS Childrenswear, the parent firm of Adams since it was brought out of administration in February, was sold to the Habib Alvi Group by owner John Shannon in a deal advised by two of Birmingham’s top professional services firms.
Adams, which is now run from its headquarters in Nuneaton, was founded by Birmingham businesswoman Amy Adams more than 75 years ago.
At the end of 2008 the company was forced into administration because of a lack of credit. But just six weeks later it was bought back by Mr Shannon, the owner who had taken the company into administration.
Nearly 150 stores and more than 1,100 jobs were lost during the administration process – the second time Mr Shannon had taken Adams out of administration.
An affiliated company, Mini Mode, was not part of the administration, but was also sold to Habib Alvi.
Mr Shannon, who originally acquired the business in 2007, said he hoped the Habib Alvi new deal would let the firm expand. He said: “It was clear that Adams and Mini Mode would require additional investment to achieve their full growth potential. I am glad to have completed this transaction which allows the Adams Group to prosper.”
Majad Ajmi a representative of the Habib Alvi Group, said: “We have been interested in the retail sector and particularly in the Adams businesses for some time, as they offer an exciting opportunity to build on the excellent progress made in the growth and development of these widely recognised brands.” The group is in the financial, textiles and trading sectors and has many diverse businesses across several continents. It also plans to launch an airline, Pearl Air Limited, in 2010.
Adams was caught up in the same retail turmoil that brought down big high street names like Woolworths, music and entertainment chain Zavvi, and MFI. Retailers struggled to keep their heads above water as footfall dropped in malls because of the credit crunch.
The Birmingham offices of law firms Cobbetts and HBJ Gateley Wareing advised on the Adams sale.
HBJ advised John Shannon on the sale of the business, while Cobbetts advised the Habib Alvi Group. Mark Gibson, partner in the corporate team at Cobbetts in Birmingham, said: “This level of international investment is excellent news for the regional economy.”
HBJ Gateley Wareing’s Birmingham-based corporate partner, Chris Reed, added: “This means that an important part of our high street heritage will continue.”