Edinburgh Woollen Mill in shock Jane Norman bid
Friday 24 June 2011
Edinburgh Woollen Mill (EWM) is a surprise bidder for troubled women’s fashion chain Jane Norman, which is likely to be sold over the next 72 hours.
The Scottish clothing group, which has more than 500 stores, is among the front runners, along with Debenhams, which houses Jane Norman concessions in its department stores.
A consortium of 15 banks hired PricewaterhouseCoopers to run a process to sell Jane Norman this month after a troubled few years for the chain.
The private equity firm Sun Capital Partners is also believed to still be interested in acquiring Jane Norman.
The purchase price for the stricken chain – which has 90 standalone stores and a similar number of concessions, largely in Debenhams – is likely to be low, if not a nominal one. This is because Jane Norman has debts of £140m, on sales at a similar level.
The fact that EWM is in advanced talks to acquire the women’s chain is somewhat of a surprise, as it targets 45-plus men and women with its knitwear, fleeces and shirts. Jane Norman’s typical customer is aged 16 to 25.
But the Dumfriesshire-based group has a track record in acquiring and integrating troubled retailers.
In early 2008, it bought the assets of soft furnishing chain Ponden Mill, including 43 stores, and then later that year acquired 77 from the former
Rosebys stores. It rebranded these two chains as Ponden Home with 150 stores. EWM also bought Proquip, the golfing waterproof clothing specialist.
The Scottish group – which delivered pre-tax profits of £22.5m in the year to 27 February 2010 – would seek to keep Jane Norman’s presence on the high street.
Debenhams has only bid for Jane Norman’s brand and stock and not its standalone shops. While it has offered to buy some of Jane Norman’s stock – at a sizeable discount – in its high street shops, Debenhams’ core focus is the fashion chain’s profitable concessions in stores.
The retail stalwart has the benefit of a change-of-ownership clause in its contract, which means it could terminate Jane Norman’s concession agreement if the business is sold to a third party.
Sun Capital owns V&D, a Dutch department-store that houses some Jane Norman concessions.
All the parties mentioned declined to comment.
- 1 The Boy in the Dress, TV review: David Walliams' Boxing Day treat is a celebration of being different
- 2 Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
- 3 Andy Murray takes to Twitter to show off his Christmas jumper
- 4 Katie Hopkins speaks out on childhood obesity: 'Parents of fat children should be prosecuted for child cruelty'
- 5 Top 10 travel destinations for 2015: From Haiti and Alaska to Namibia and Iceland
PlayStation and Xbox hacked by Lizard Squad
Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
Dublin court rules brain-dead pregnant mother's life support can be switched off
Margaret Thatcher 'expressed fears of Asian rising' at Anglo-Irish summit in 1984
The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Katie Hopkins speaks out on childhood obesity: 'Parents of fat children should be prosecuted for child cruelty'
iJobs Money & Business
Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...
Not specified: Selby Jennings: Quantitative Research | Global Equity | New Yor...
Not specified: Selby Jennings: SVP Model Validation This top tiered investment...
Highly Competitive: Selby Jennings: Our client, a leading European Oil trading...