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US firm Sycamore Partners mulls takeover deal for Ted Baker

Ted Baker, which has seen its shares slide by almost 95% over the past four years, saw its stock leap higher on Friday morning.

18 March 2022

New York private equity firm Sycamore Partners is eying up a potential move to buy UK fashion brand Ted Baker.

The retail investor, which has previously owned brands including Kurt Geiger, confirmed it is considering the takeover approach following reports by Sky News.

Ted Baker, which has seen its shares slide by almost 95% over the past four years, saw its stock leap higher on Friday morning.

In a statement, Sycamore said: “The company confirms that it is in the early stages of considering making a possible cash offer for Ted Baker.

“There can be no certainty that an offer will ultimately be made nor as to the terms on which any offer may be made.”

Sycamore must now confirm, in coherence with takeover rules, whether it plans to make a firm offer or walk away by 5pm on April 15.

Ted Baker has not yet commented on the takeover speculation.

The fashion business is currently in the middle of a three-year turnaround plan under chief Rachel Osborne.

The group is seeking to rebuild its image and profitability after a turbulent period which has seen accounting issues, profit warnings and the resignation of founder Ray Kelvin in 2019 after allegations of misconduct. He denied the allegations.

Last month, Ted Baker said sales shot up by more than a third in the three months to the end of January as it was boosted by a strong performance from womenswear in the run-up to Christmas.

Shares in the business were 17.3% higher at 115.8p in early trading.

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