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Bad News for British Retailer BHS

It’s little wonder that Arcadia Group sold BHS to Retail Acquisitions Ltd. for less than $2 in March 2015.

The 88-year-old British fashion and home goods retailer, which has been bleeding money for years and recently enlisted KPMG’s help in restructuring its organization, on Monday entered administration.

Duff & Phelps, a privately-held investment banking firm, has been appointed as administrator (a procedure to protect a company from its creditors) and said business will continue as normal at the chain’s nearly 170 stores as it keeps working to find a buyer.

It is the U.K.’s biggest retail casualty in recent years.

“The group has been undergoing restructuring and, as has been widely reported, the shareholders have been in negotiations to find a buyer for the business. These negotiations have been unsuccessful. In addition, property sales have not materialized as expected in both number and value,” Duff & Phelps said in a statement. “Consequently, as a result of a lower than expected cash balance, the group is very unlikely to meet all contractual payments. The directors therefore have no alternative but to put the group into administration to protect it for all creditors. The group will continue to trade as usual whilst the administrators seek to sell it as a going concern. Further announcements will be made as appropriate in due course.”

A letter sent Sunday by BHS owner Dominic Chappell to the retailer’s 11,000 employees, and quoted by The Guardian, said, “It is with a deep heart that I have to report, despite a massive effort from the team, we have been unable to secure a funder or a trade sale.”

He noted that the administrators would pay their wages this month and continued, “I would like to say it has been a real pleasure working with all of you on the BHS project, one I will never forget, you all need to keep your heads held high, you have done a great job and remember that it was always going to be very, very hard to turn around.”

BHS, which first opened its doors back in 1928, lost 85 million pounds ($122.5 million) in the year ended Aug. 30, 2014. It recently failed to secure 60 million pounds ($86.8 million) in emergency funding that it needed to pay wages and rent.