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Ted Baker shares jump after picking preferred bidder as Sycamore bows out

·2-min read
Ted Baker put itself up for sale in April after a flurry of interest. Photo: Jeffrey Greenberg/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty
Ted Baker put itself up for sale in April after a flurry of interest. Photo: Jeffrey Greenberg/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty

Shares in Ted Baker (TED.L) jumped on Monday after the British luxury fashion brand said it has selected a preferred bidder to take its sale process forward after a flurry of revised offers from interested parties.

The sale plan will now move into a weeks-long process of "confirmatory due diligence", Ted Baker said.

It added that there can be no certainty that an offer will be made, adding the board could terminate the process at any time if it wishes to.

The announcement came as US private equity firm Sycamore Partners dropped out of the process.

In March, the retailer said it had received and rejected two takeover bids from Sycamore, which "significantly undervalued" the company.

The approaches on 18 March and 22 March valued the firm at about £254m ($319m) with 130p and 137.5p per share, respectively.

Read more: Ted Baker puts itself up for sale after takeover interest

Last month, the retailer put itself up for sale, launching a formal sale process after rejecting a series of "unsolicited" takeover bids.

Shares in the company shot up as much as 4.6% in early trade on Monday in London.

The firm's share price has lost more than 90% of its value in the past four years, but the flurry of interest has boosted the value of its stocks around 35% so far in 2022.

Ted Baker has said it could boost its share price via its own turnaround plan. In 2020, it raised £105m by selling new shares.

The takeover bid comes as chief executive Rachel Osborne has been looking to revive the retailer by cutting debt and product markdowns, boosting online sales and refreshing the luxury brand.

Read more: B&Q owner Kingfisher launches £300m share buyback after 'resilient' trading

The fashion group reported sales increased 35% year-on-year in fiscal fourth-quarter revenue in February. This was up 18% on the previous quarter. It forecast it will meet its financial targets for the year ahead in its latest earnings call.

Ted Baker has nearly 400 locations mostly in the UK, Europe and North America.

The company has been beleaguered with several hiccups in recent years, including an accounting scandal, management changes and profit warnings, since founder Ray Kelvin quit in 2019 following misconduct allegations, which he denies.

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