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MANCHESTER – Frasers Group has hired Missguided founder Nitin Passi as its CEO just two weeks after it bought the online fashion retailer out of administration. Passi stepped down as Missguided CEO on 20 April at the same time Teneo was hired by Alteri Investors – which owned a 50 per cent stake in Missguided – to look at strategic options for the company. These efforts led to nothing and Missguided fell into administration late last month. The business was acquired by Sports Direct owner Frasers Group for £20m.

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Missguided has left a trail of destruction in its wake. Many suppliers have been left out of pocket and facing bankruptcy because Missguided did not pay for orders placed.

The brand reportedly continued to trade right up until it went into administration, giving false assurances to suppliers that it had the money to pay for orders. According to supplier factories, the brand placed new orders and chased deliveries of stock until the announcement of administration.

People will rightly ask why the former CEO of Missguided – who must have been aware of the impact of the company’s failure to pay suppliers – can now step back into his previous role (and why he left in the first place).

Frasers Group chief executive Michael Murray said: “Missguided is a fantastic brand which, with the strength and scale of Frasers’ platform and our operational excellence, is well-positioned for the future. Under Frasers’ ownership, and with Nitin’s partnership, Missguided has an exciting future ahead.”

Passi claimed that Frasers Group’s platform and “fantastic operational know-how” would give Missguided “a solid foundation on which we can build a successful future”

He added: “I am acutely aware of the impact Missguided’s administration has had on our stakeholders and I am committed to rebuilding their trust.”

Protests involving factory owners, workers and activists recently took place in London and Manchester about unpaid bills of Missguided.

A supplier for Missguided, who wishes to remain anonymous says: “This has been a train crash for us and our whole supply chain. As we are all aware, the cost of living is rising and we have had to tell all our workforce that we don’t have any orders or money to pay them. It’s absolutely disgusting the way Missguided directors, the board and shareholders have left us without money or a business. We have nearly a million pound of ready stock which is sitting in our warehouse – now worthless.”  

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