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Whistles owner TFG reportedly mulling Joules bid

By Rachel Douglass


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Image: Joules, Facebook

TFG London, the parent company of Phase Eight, Whistles and Hobbs, is said to be among those considering a bid for struggling fashion and lifestyle group Joules, which fell into administration last week.

According to a report by Sky News, the retail firm, which is the UK arm of South African lifestyle giant The Foschini Group, had been in discussions with Joules for several weeks about taking a substantial stake in the business.

The publication added that TFG London was now examining whether it could take control of Joules from its insolvency practitioner, Interpath Advisory.

However, the group is up against a challenge, with the likes of Next, Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group and Marks & Spencer also said to be looking into possible bids.

Joules already sells via Next and Marks & Spencer alongside its 132 owned UK stores, through which it employs over 1,600 people.

The retailer was initially in talks with Next about a potential 25 percent equity stake earlier this year, however, following a profit warning, the high street brand stepped away from discussions, causing Joules’ share price to plummet by 50 percent.

In a statement, Will Wright, head of restructuring at Interpath, said Joules was “one of the most recognisable names on the high street”.

Wright added that the insolvency firm was continuing to operate all its stores in the lead up to Christmas, while it assessed options for the group, “including a possible sale”.

He continued: “Since the group’s announcement on Monday, we have had an overwhelming amount of interest from interested parties. We will be working hard over the days ahead to assess this interest, but at this stage we are optimistic that we will be able to secure a future for this great British brand.”

TFG London