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Jigsaw receives 27 million pound offer to take it upmarket

By Huw Hughes


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Image: Jigsaw

Jigsaw could be taken upmarket after reportedly receiving a 27 million pound takeover offer.

The British fashion retailer, which is majority owned by Carphone Warehouse co-founder David Ross, has received an indicative offer from investor Henrik Madsen, The Sunday Times reports.

Madsen is the CEO of retail and brand consultancy HMJ International, and also spent almost 12 years as the Northern Europe managing director of designer outlet group McArthurGlen.

A sale process has not begun, according to sources, and it is unsure how Madsen would fund the deal.

He is reportedly seeking investor backing to take Jigsaw upmarket, invest in online and grow its licensing arm.

It comes after Jigsaw called in advisers to run a strategic review of the company last summer, with KPMG overseeing rent negotiations with landlords and Cavendish Corporate Finance working on a potential sale process or the recruitment of a new external investor.

Pandemic takes toll on Jigsaw

Like many of its rivals, Jigsaw was hit hard by the pandemic, revealing in February that it lost around 31 million pounds in sales during lockdowns.

The company was also forced to close almost half of its stores as part of a company voluntary arrangement (CVA), with its remaining stores switching to turnover-based rents.

And six of Jigsaw’s board members stepped down as the retailer looked to “streamline” its business amid the pandemic.

In a statement seen by Retail Gazette, Jigsaw said at the time it wants the business to be “more agile and better placed to deal with the challenges posed by the current Covid-19 outbreak”.

It continued: “Jigsaw is a much-loved heritage brand and now is the right time to have a smaller board that is fully focused on helping us get through this difficult period and on reopening our stores when it is safe to do so.”