Joules says little as it responds to media speculation
Suggestions at the weekend that Next may be cooling on its interest in buying a stake in struggling lifestyle and fashion retailer Joules could be wide of the mark. In the expected clarification statement from Joules on Tuesday via the London Stock Exchange (which was closed on Monday for a public holiday), the company said “positive” talks are ongoing.
“In response to recent media reporting”, it said: “Further to the announcement on 19 August 2022, the group continues positive discussions with Next Group Plc about both adopting its Total Platform services to support its long-term growth plans and a potential equity investment.”
But it’s clearly not yet a done deal and it added that “there can be no certainty that these discussions will lead to any agreement, and further announcements in this regard will be made if and when appropriate”.
That very brief statement didn't give much away but at least seemed to show that the talks haven't been abandoned.
Sky News had reported on Sunday that Next hadn't made a formal proposal to buy a stake in the business having not had enough financial information. It also suggested that the fall in the Joules share price since the talks began meant that an agreement at no less than 33p a share was unlikely. The shares closed at just over 25p on Friday, the last day of trading before the holiday.
The talks come after Joules has struggled against the overall consumer environment, as well as various challenges in its supply chain. The recent very hot British summer also meant that staple pieces such as raincoats and sweaters weren't big sellers for the business.
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