Next and Tom Joule join forces to buy Joules out of administration
Next has bought fashion retailer Joules out of insolvency, beating other high street names in a bidding war.
The high street chain called in administrators a few weeks ago, with 1,600 jobs hanging in the balance.
Now, Next has confirmed it has emerged victorious in a battle for the brand and bought Joules out of administration for £34 million.
Next will own 74 per cent of the equity with the remaining 26 per cent owned by Mr Joule.
The retail giant won against a takeover bid placed by Hobbs and Whistles owner the Foschini Group.
The acquisition comes as Next has been on a high street shopping spree in recent weeks, having bought the Made.com brand shortly after the furniture firm collapsed earlier this autumn.
However, 19 stores are not part of the transaction and will be closed immediately, resulting in 133 job losses.
Will Wright, head of restructuring at Interpath Advisory and joint administrator, described the process as “highly competitive”.
“We are pleased to have concluded this transaction which secures the future of this great British brand, as well as safeguarding a significant number of jobs,” he added.
“The global interest in the Joules brand in the bidding process just goes to show what reach Next may be able to achieve internationally as well as at home,” John Coldham, retail partner at law firm Gowling WLG, noted.
Tom Joule said: “After three years away from the operational side, I’m truly looking forward to inspiring teams with clear direction to excite and recapture the imagination of the customer again.
“Our customers have always trusted us to lead, not follow, with products that reflect their lifestyle. It’s important that we live up to the high standards they desire in design, quality and, with Next’s Total Platform delivery and customer support proposition, the service they expect.
“I’m so pleased that we have been able to strike a deal that protects the future of the company for all its loyal customers, its employees and also for the town of Market Harborough, which have been so central to Joules’ success.”
Next chief executive Simon Wolfson said: “We are excited to see what can be achieved through the combination of Joules’ exceptional product, marketing and brand building skills with Next’s Total Platform infrastructure.”