Next has bought UK retailer Joules Group out of bankruptcy for £34m (€44m), a bid against rival shopkeepers.
The clothing and home goods retailer has teamed up with Joules founder Tom Joule to snap up the chain, which filed for bankruptcy on November 16. The maker of brightly colored coats and wellies had failed to secure bridge financing or raise equity after struggling to repay a £5million loan due at the end of November.
Next had previously been in talks with Joules to buy a minority stake in the company for £15m, but those talks collapsed earlier this year and administrators from Interpath Advisory were tasked with finding a buyer.
Next said it intended to operate about 100 of the current 124 Joules stores and keep 1,450 jobs, but some others would be closed immediately by administrators, 133 job losses.
Next’s deal to buy Joules was first reported by Bloomberg.
Joules, which started as a clothing stall at a country show in Leicestershire in the 1980s, has made several gains this year due to supply chain difficulties and consumer appetites due to the higher cost of living. Joule returned to the company to try to revive its performance, but was unable to reverse it in time to save Joules from collapsing.
Next triumphed over other retailers including South Africa’s Foschini, owners of Phase Eight, Hobbs and Whistles. Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group and Marks & Spencer also showed interest.
https://www.independent.ie/business/world/next-joins-with-joule-founder-to-buy-retailer-out-of-insolvency-42189531.html Next joins https://www.independent.ie/ with founder of Joule to buy retailer out of bankruptcy – Independent.ie