Five subsidiaries of conglomerate Wharf (Holdings) are taking legal action to have ailing fashion store Theme liquidated. The five companies have filed a petition at the High Court to wind up The Shop Clothing - which trades as Theme and is wholly owned by Theme International Holdings. A Wharf spokesman yesterday confirmed that Charris, Mullein, Wettersley, Bright Smart and Excellent Base were owners of the shopping complex, Plaza Hollywood, in Tze Wan Shan. The Shop Clothing had operated a Theme outlet in Plaza Hollywood up to August 3 before closing its outlets in Hong Kong. Its shops in Macau, the mainland and Taiwan remain open. The company claimed it was forced into the closures because landlords had refused to reduce rents amid the retail slump. It consequently shut 23 of its 32 local outlets and made heavy staff cuts. Although several stores were re-opened following rent reductions, the Plaza Hollywood outlet has remained shut. A Theme spokesman yesterday said the company could not comment on the wind-up petition as the company had not yet received legal documentation. Theme has been hit hard by the retail slump and two ill-fated investments, which left the company with an $806.62 million net loss for the year to March 31. Last year, the company made a net profit of $90.76 million. The company's Singapore retailing off-shoot, Emporium Holdings (Singapore), went into bankruptcy protection in July. The two investments accounted for most of a $338.91 million exceptional loss. Theme, chaired by Kenneth Lai Ngan-long, is restructuring its $304 million debt with 12 bank creditors and with the help of substantial shareholder China Everbright. China Everbright holds 20 per cent of Theme and has provided an $80 million cash facility for the company. To boost cash flow, Theme recently put its 40 per cent interest in Fitlady Investment Holdings on sale for $90 million, despite opposition by Fitlady shareholder SCM China Growth Fund. Theme has applied to the stock exchange to delay the release of its latest profit and loss account in the six months to September, which was due yesterday. The delay was caused by unfinished auditing work. The company did not give a revised date for the account's release.