British fashion chain Ted Baker draws U.S. takeover interest

British fashion chain Ted Baker draws U.S. takeover interest

March 21, 2022: -On Friday, Sycamore Partners is in the early stage of making a possible cash offer for fashion retailer Ted Baker, the private equity firm said, in the recent sign of strong U.S. interest in taking over British entities.

New York-based Sycamore, specializing in deals in the struggling retail sector, has until April 15 to make a firm offer for the London-listed Ted Baker. Sycamore says that there was no certainty a request would be made and did not disclose what the terms might be for any deal.

Ted Baker said it has not received an offer but would evaluate any proposal. However, it was confident in its independent prospects.

Shares of the upmarket retailer increased 20% on Friday. However, they were still trading just above a pound each, compared with the almost 30 pounds it was worth in 2015, which gives it a current market valuation of almost 220 million pounds Refinitiv Eikon data showed.

Takeover interest in British companies, which ranges from defense groups to a leading supermarket, is its highest in years. The pandemic and uncertainties linked to Britain’s departure from the European Union have reduced valuations.

Ted Baker is in the middle of a three-year turnaround plan underboss Rachel Osborne as it tries to boost its online presence and rebuild its image following profit warnings and accounting issues.

Osborne charges in 2019 in a management reshuffle that included the exit of former chief executive Ray Kelvin which follows allegations of inappropriate behavior. Kelvin is denying the allegations and retains a nearly 12% stake in the company he founded in 1988 in Glasgow.

Ted Baker, which has almost 400 locations mainly in Europe, North America, and the United Kingdom, said it was “cautiously optimistic” about the outlook for the current year as people slowly return to working in offices.

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