Icelandic retail group Baugur Group is filing for bankruptcy after a court called time on its efforts to reorganise.

The announcement followed a ruling earlier in the day by the District Court in Reykjavik against extending the moratorium process, which protected Baugur from its creditors.

BG Holding EHF, Baugur's vehicle for its British holdings, is already in administration.

'We believe that the company fulfills all the conditions for the extension and that the restructuring plan was viable,' said Kristin Johannesdottir, Baugur Group chair.

'However, following the ruling, we have no choice but to file for bankruptcy.'

A British court put BG Holdings in the hands of administrators PriceWaterhouseCoopers on Feb. 6. Landsbanki Island HF, one of the three big Icelandic banks nationalized in October and a major creditor of Baugur, had petitioned for administration.

BG Holding had stakes in several big-name British retailers, including 13.7% of Iceland Foods Group Ltd., 34.9% of Highland Group Holdings Ltd. which owns House of Fraser stores, 37.75% of jewelry company Aurum Group, and 63.7% of Corporal Ltd., which owns toy retailer Hamleys.

BG Holding also held 49% of Mosaic Fashion whose brands include Karen Millen, Principles, Oasis, Warehouse, Coast and the Shoe Studio. Mosaic was placed under a pre-pack administration earlier this month.

International Herald Tribune