Apax-Backed Clothing Co. Enters Administration

PARIS (Reuters) – French women’s clothing company Morgan has gone into administration, a company spokesman said on Tuesday, as the global financial crisis continues to hit the luxury goods and retail sectors.

Morgan employs 1,000 staff in total, with 750 of them based in France. The company said it was expecting a 9 percent fall in sales for 2008 as a result of the global economic slowdown.

French newspaper Le Figaro reported earlier on Tuesday that Morgan had debts of 30 million euros and had struggled to keep up with its payments.

Private equity firm Apax Partners owns around 40 percent of Morgan, while founding families Bismuth and Barouch together hold a 40 percent stake. The remaining 20 percent is held by various private investors.

The Morgan spokesman said the company was still working on a possible sale of the business. The sale process began at the start of the year.

(Reporting by Jean-Baptiste Vey; Editing by David Cowell)