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Derrys 'the brand' put up for sale by auction

By This is Devon  |  Posted: February 03, 2011

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DERRYS is up for sale, but not the empty store – the brand.

A firm of intellectual asset specialists has been appointed by the administrators of Vergo Retail Limited, which owned Derrys, to sell its "brand assets" including the Derrys name, logo and any trademarks.

Glasgow's Metis Partners expects "quite a lot of interest" in the branding, for which bids must be submitted.

The firm recently sold the branding for furniture chain MFI, which collapsed in 2008, for £250,000.

"But we don't expect Derrys to go for that figure," said Metis Partners' Stephen Robertson. Nevertheless, he said the branding is valuable and said: "Our job is to maximise (money) for creditors."

Derrys department store, on the corner of New George Street and Raleigh Street, closed last July after Liverpool-based Vergo Retail went into administration, leaving hundreds of workers redundant. It is now empty. Manchester-based financial consultancy MCR was brought in as joint-administrator and in turn brought in Metis Partners to sell Vergo's brand assets.

These include famous high street brands including Lewis's of Liverpool, the Owen Owen chain, Joplings of Sunderland and Derrys of Plymouth. Keen interest is expected in the sell off because of the "iconic status" of some of the brands.

Mr Robertson said: "Some of these names have local brand value, as a result there are people out there who will be interested in purchasing these brands to sell their products and services under that banner.

"They understand the value of the additional footfall that can come from putting that brand over their store."

He said the Derrys brand could be snapped up by an existing business, a new venture, or even an on-line enterprise. The brand will be sold by "auction". A minimum price will be set and interested parties will be invited to make a final offer. An insolvency practitioner will then select "the best offer".

Vergo owned several department stores and operated from large town-centres, and smaller out-of-town retail units. It also ran stores throughout England using its own Vergo brand including department stores in Norwich and Ipswich, and had small stores under the brands Vergo at Home and Vergo Fashion, Home & More!, and owned the brand The Jewellery Store.

Mr Robertson said: "A wide range of intangible assets which include several registered trade marks protecting the brands as well as rights in a number of unregistered trade marks are available for purchase.

"Several domain names relating to Vergo Retail's portfolio of brands are also included in the sale."

Vergo bought Derrys from the Plymouth and South West Co-operative Society in 2009, but the actual building returned to the Co-operative Group, which retained the lease, following Vergo's demise.

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