The 128-store Whittard of Chelsea chain of specialist tea and coffee retailers, also known for its quirky teapots and chinaware, has been bought by Epic Private Equity, after going through a “pre-pack” administration.

Baugur, its Icelandic parent, agreed to put the business into administration, with Ernst & Young handling the process, to enable the sale to Epic for an undisclosed sum. Under a prepack deal, a buyer is lined up in advance, enabling a business to continue trading while shedding some liabilities.

Following the sale, E&Y will put the company into liquidation and unsecured creditors will eventually receive a dividend but cannot expect to be paid in full.

Financial Times, The Times