Joules to appoint administrators as rescue talks fail
Struggling Joules has bowed to the inevitable and said on Monday that it will appoint Will Wright, Ryan Grant and Chris Pole of Interpath Advisory Limited as administrators “as soon as reasonably practicable”.
The Garden Trading Company, the business that it acquired nearly two years ago, will also file for administration.
The news comes just a week after it had said it was in advanced discussions with a number of strategic investors “to provide a cornerstone investment in an equity raise process”. The company also announced at the time that it was in discussions regarding a bridge financing proposal “in order to enable continued progress to be made with the re-financing plans”.
But on Monday the board confirmed that “these discussions with various parties have not been successful and have now terminated”.
It’s just the latest in a series of disappointments for the firm as it has navigated tough times, supply chain issues and a few problems of its own making.
A big disappointment came in September when it revealed that talks with Next had gone nowhere. Deep-pocketed Next had been potentially set to buy a 25% stake in the firm for no less than the share price at the time, or around £15 million. But as the share price fell, its market value declined and it was understandable that Next pulled out.
Joules shares are now suspended from trading on the London Stock Exchange.
The board said the decision to file for administration was taken “to protect the interests of its creditors”.
Despite saying it would happen as soon as possible, it didn’t say exactly when and whether a ‘pre-pack’ buyer is waiting in the wings. As it stands, the jobs of its 1,600 employees are at risk. It’s likely that some of its more than 130 UK stores will close, although it hasn't commented on this. It’s unclear how the administration filing will affect its operations in Europe and the US.
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