KPMG sells Dawsons Music out of administration

10 June 2020 2 min. read

Professionals from KPMG have overseen the rapid sale of a UK music retailer out of administration, saving 75 jobs in the process. Dawsons Music had fallen into insolvency thanks to a combination of the UK’s declining retail market, and the sudden shock of the Covid-19 lock-down.

Dawsons Music is a musical instrument and consumer audio retailer with headquarters based in Warrington, Cheshire, UK. Alongside a multi-channel e-commerce platform, Dawsons boasts six high street stores in Manchester, Liverpool, Chester, Leeds, Reading and Belfast, as well as a leading Education division that provides bespoke services to Colleges and Universities around the world.

The UK high street has been under intense strain in recent years, however, and things have only gone downhill since the outbreak of Covid-19. Amid the lock-down, non-essential businesses across the board have struggled to stay afloat – and those pressures recently added Dawsons to the list of victims.KPMG sells Dawsons Music out of administrationOver the last 12 months, the business has experienced declining sales and with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic placing further financial strain on the business, the directors took the difficult decision to appoint joint administrators. In early May, Rick Harrison and Neil Gostelow from KPMG’s Restructuring practice were appointed to oversee the process, placing 75 jobs in jeopardy.

KPMG Partner Harrison said at the time, “While all stores remain closed due to the restrictions imposed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, we will continue to trade the business via its online platforms while we assess options for the business… The majority of staff were furloughed prior to our appointment, and we will be speaking to them as a matter of priority over the days and weeks ahead, as we seek a buyer for the business.”

Fortunately, however, the administrators were able to complete a swift sale of the business and its assets. The resulting deal saw all of Dawsons’ 75 employees transfer to the new ownership. The business will continue to trade via a new company, Dawsons Music & Sound, which is owned and operated by Andrew M. Oliver of Arranged Musical Options.

Harrison commented on the news, “Since the outset of our appointment, we have been struck by the affection that so many people hold for this iconic retailer. We are therefore delighted to have been able to conclude this sale to someone well-established within the musical instrument industry.”