We knew it was happening, but UK-based online furniture and home accessories store Made.com is officially in administrationconfirms previous reports with the appointment yesterday of PricewaterhouseCoopers as administrators.
While Made.com had revealed that it was in talks with potential buyers, nothing came on time and the discontinued business taking new orders in late October, with none of the interested parties being able to “meet the necessary timetable” for closing a deal. Today, however, news emerged that the domain names, intellectual property and brand of Made.com have been acquired by Next, a multinational retailer with physical and online stores in the UK.
Reports suggest that Next paid £3.4 million ($3.8 million) in the firesale.
“Following an extensive process to secure the company’s future, we are deeply disappointed to have reached this point and how it will affect all of our stakeholders, including employees, customers, suppliers and shareholders,” said Susanne Given , president of Made.com. in a statement released today. “We deeply appreciate and deeply regret the frustration the administration of MDL (Made.com) will have caused everyone.”
Road to doom
Founded in London in 2010, Made.com emerged as one of the UK’s most promising startups, raising some $137 million in investor money for a company that optimized the entire furniture design, manufacturing and sales processes through close partnerships. to deal with partner companies. The company went public on the London Stock Exchange in 2021 at a valuation of around £775 million, although the share price has fallen continuously since last June’s IPO day, and with the company reporting increasing losses and job cuts plans in 2022, the writing has been on the wall.
Co-founder and former CEO Ning Li, who left Made.com in 2017, posted an open letter stating that he made three bids to buy the company back with his own money and try to turn things around, but was ultimately rejected.
“Unfortunately, my proposal was not accepted,” Li wrote. “Apparently it would be better to break up the business and sell it into pieces to generate a little more money. It makes no sense to me. But I just wanted to let you know that I really tried.”
It’s worth noting that Made.com recently stated that it would not process refund requests for customers with pending orders, and it’s not clear at this point if this will change in the future – at this point, the administrators are concerned about any remaining assets of Made.com and make payments to its creditors. And the board said today that it ultimately expects “any residual value” left over from the administration process to be paid out to the company’s shareholders.
It’s also not clear what Next’s plans are for the Made.com brand or whether it plans to keep any of the 500 jobs currently at stake as Made.com enters the administration.