// Joules has confirmed that it is in discussions with Next over acquiring a minority stake in the business
// Over the weekend Sky News reported that Next had been in talks with the struggling retailer for several weeks over a deal
Struggling fashion retailer Joules has confirmed weekend speculation that Next is set to acquire a minority stake in the lifestyle retailer for around £15m.
It comes after Sky News reported that Next has been in negotiations for “several weeks” to acquire 25% of Joules.
Now, Joules has confirmed these discussions are taking place, with talks over a “potential equity investment” raising proceeds of c.£15m at no less than Joules’ current market price.
This would mean fashion giant Next would become a strategic minority shareholder in the retailer.
Joules and Next were also discussing Next adopting its Total Platform services “to support the group’s long term growth plans.”
The equity investment would be subject to approval by Joules’ shareholders, the statement said.
“There can be no certainty these discussions will lead to any agreement. A further announcement will be made if and when appropriate,” it concluded.
Joules has struggled with rising costs and a slowdown in consumer confidence in recent months as the UK high street struggles with historic levels of inflation.
Joules has called in advisers from KPMG to help shore up its cash position.
Last month the struggling fashion and lifestyle retailer called in KPMG to seek a cash lifeline as the cost-of-living crisis hits the high street.
It said consumers feeling the pinch had intensified pressures on margins with gross margins having “remained under significant pressure”.
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