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Investors circle footwear chain Clarks

Lauretta Roberts
10 July 2020

A number of investors are reported to be circling the historic British footwear business Clarks.

According to Sky News, OpCapita, Sycamore Partners and one other party are interested in the business, which would see between £100m and £150m of funds injected into the business.

Sycamore Partners, a US investors, came close to acquiring a controlling stake in US lingerie chain Victoria's Secret from L Brands, but the deal fell through as the COVID-19 crisis took off.

As a result of the crisis Clarks has announced a restructuring programme that will lead to 900 jobs being cut and 200 new ones being created. Just over 100 jobs were cut in May and the company said the rest of the cuts would be made over the next 18 months.

At the time Clarks CEO, Giorgio Presca, said: “There are exciting opportunities ahead for our business, and we are having to make some difficult decisions to get there."

The company hired advisers in the spring to advise on the future of the business including McKinsey, KPMG and Deloitte. Any investment deal will result in the Clarks family reducing its stake in the business, which was founded 195 years ago in Somerset.

Clarks operates 345 stores but has reported ruled out the idea of entering into a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA).

In addition the company has hired former Triumph lingerie head Suzanne McKenna as managing director of the Clarks own brand business and she will be joining the business in August of this year.

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