Links of London U.S. Division Files for Chapter 7

On Oct. 18, Links of London Inc., the brand’s U.S. subsidiary, filed for Chapter 7 in U.S. bankruptcy court in the district of Delaware, due to “substantial and sustained annual losses,” according to a statement from owner FF Group, otherwise known as Folli Follie.

Links of London’s non-U.S. global operations are unaffected by the U.S. bankruptcy petition, the statement said. Its Canadian operation will function as usual.

Links of London’s six U.S. stand-alone stores and nine concessions will all be closed, the statement said. Some of those stores opened relatively recently. Its store at the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace opened in 2017, while its Westfield World Trade Center mall store opened the year before.

Bankruptcy papers list the U.S. division’s assets as $1 million–$10 million, and liabilities as $10 million–$50 million.

Founded in 1990, Links of London is known for its eccentric, whimsical designs; its first collection featured cufflinks shaped like fish. It soon branched out into fine jewelry and watches. In 2006, it was acquired by Athens, Greece-based Folli Follie for a reported $84 million.

But lately, FF Group has struggled with its own challenges. In September, advisers Alvarez & Marsal concluded that its financial statements had been significantly overstated. The news sparked the resignation of cofounders Dimitrios and Ekaterini Koutsolioutsos. Authorities are reportedly investigating.

In addition. last month, the company said it would default on bonds that became due earlier than expected. It is now restructuring and hoping for new investors.

“This decision [to close Links of London U.S. business is] in the interests of the wider business toward growth and as part of an ongoing restructuring of the FF Group,” the statement said.

“FF Group would like to emphasize its appreciation for the hard work and loyalty of its U.S. employees, partners and suppliers, and sincerely regrets the effect of the closure,” the statement continued, noting that employees had been paid all outstanding wages.

(Image courtesy of Links of London)

JCK News Director