British furniture retailer proposes CVA; winds down US operations

Furniture and accessories retailer OKA has filed for a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) in a bid to restructure the business.

According to reports, OKA has appointed restructuring adviser Teneo on the proposal, which will see a distribution centre and one of its head offices be impacted, alongside the closing of one store from its portfolio of 13 across the UK.

If the proposals are agreed by creditors, around 40 jobs are expected to be lost from its 250-strong workforce.

OKA, which is owned by InvestIndustrial – an Italian private equity group that acquired the business back in 2018, has struggled to recover from the impacts of Covid-19

It is understood that the CVA forms part of a wider restructuring of the OKA group and if the proposals are approved, the company’s will be provided with further funding of around £4m.

Customer orders are not to be impacted by the restructuring, alongside suppliers to the business.

At the start of the year, OKA reported a growth in sales of 10% to £41.8m within its UK operations for the period ended 31 December 2022. Pre-tax losses resulted at £3.9m, widening from a loss of £1.8m recorded in the previous year.

The news follows OKA’s other announcement of its decision to wind down of its USA operations. The business, as well as a number of its affiliates, has initiated Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceedings in the Northern District of Texas to wind down its business.

It is understood that this will liquidate company assets in the US, closing its three stores, to allow creditors to be repaid. OKA USA only opened its flagship showroom in Westport, Connecticut, back in December 2022.

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