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Next in talks to snap up stake in Joules

By Huw Hughes

Aug 8, 2022

Management

Image: Joules

British lifestyle group Joules has confirmed it is in talks with Next about a potential equity investment.

It follows a report on Saturday by Sky News that said high street giant Next was in detailed negotiations about buying a 25 percent stake in Joules.

Joules said in a statement Sunday: “Joules confirms that it is in discussions with Next Plc (“Next”) about adopting its Total Platform services to support the Group’s long term growth plans.

“Additionally, in conjunction, Joules confirms it is in discussions with Next about a potential equity investment raising proceeds for Joules of around 15 million pounds at no less than Joules’ current market price, which would result in Next becoming a strategic minority shareholder in the group.”

The company added that the investment would be subject to approval by its shareholders, and that there was “no certainty” the discussions will result in an agreement.

Important backing

Joules has been facing difficulties recently. Last month, it confirmed it had appointed debt advisory firm KPMG to help improve its profitability, cash generation, and liquidity headroom.

That followed a profit warning in May, with the company citing that the cost-of-living crisis was impacting its sales across its full-price range and gardening products.

Earlier this month, Next upped its full-year profit outlook by 10 million pounds to 860 million pounds following better-than-expected sales in the second quarter of the year.

Full price sales increased 5 percent year-over-year and were 50 million pounds ahead of its previous guidance.

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