// Edinburgh Woollen Mill owner Philip Day places initial bid for Jack Wills
// Jack Wills’ private equity owner BlueGem began a search to find a new owner earlier this month
// Jack Wills’ lenders could be left £30m out of pocket if the business fails to find a buyer
Philip Day has reportedly put in an initial bid for struggling fashion retailer Jack Wills.
Jack Wills’ private equity owner BlueGem commenced a search to find a new owner in early July.
Day, the owner of Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group, is now among the list of interested buyers, which is thought to include Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct, Crew Clothing and Ben Sherman parent company Marquee Brands.
Restructuring firm Hilco and investment firm Alteri have also reportedly made offers for Jack Wills.
Its lenders could be left £30 million out of pocket if the retailer fails to find a buyer, according to The Telegraph.
Jack Wills revealed a pre-tax loss of £29.3 million for the year to January 31, 2018 according to accounts filed at Companies House earlier this year.
The retailer also suffered an EBITDA loss of £7.5 million, compared to a profit of £6.3 million in the previous year.
Meanwhile, sales declined by 1.1 per cent to £129.3 million.
Since BlueGem took control of Jack Wills in 2016, it splurged £18 million on the company and arranged an additional £10 million lifeline from Italian businessman Giorgio Girondi.
It also has a £25 million credit line from HSBC, which has some security over Jack Wills’ assets.
News of Day joining in the race to acquire Jack Wills comes shortly after his £5.7 million mandatory takeover bid for Bonmarche concluded.
Earlier this month, Spectre Holdings – Day’s investment company – confirmed it now either owned, or had received valid acceptances, a 93 per cent stake in Bonmarche and now has the power to buy out the rest of the shares.
Day’s firm also confirmed it was set to commence the process of cancelling Bonmarche’s shares from the London Stock Exchange.