Clarks a step closer to securing minority stake sale with investors

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Investors set sights on buying a stake in Clarks
Suzanne McKenna will start as managing director of the own-brand Clarks unit in August.
// Clarks reportedly closer to securing a deal to sell a minority stake in the business
// Private equity firms OpCapita & Sycamore Partners were among the investors to have lodged an interest
// Clarks also appointed a new managing director: Suzanne McKenna

Clarks is reportedly one step closer to securing a sale of a minority stake in the business to investors, almost two months after it announced it revealed 900 job cuts amid a turnaround strategy.

According to Sky News, the footwear retailer also announced Suzanne McKenna, a former executive at lingerie brand Triumph, as the managing director of the own-brand Clarks unit. She is slated to start next month.

Sky News said private equity firms OpCapita and Sycamore Partners were among the investors to have lodged an interest in buying a stake in Clarks.


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At least one other party is also understood to be interested in the business.

News of Clarks holding talks with investors about the sale of a minority stake first emerged in May – shortly after it revealed a turnaround strategy and 900 job cuts.

The minority stake sale could raise between £100 million and £200 million.

Clarks has not provided a comment on the reported negotiations taking place with investors.

If a deal were to go ahead, the sale would likely to lead to the Clark family’s current 85 per cent shareholding being reduced.

Clarks’ “Made to Last” strategy announced in May will be rolled out over the next 18 months and will focus on revitalising the business as it enters its third century of operation.

The plans involve a total of 900 office-level job losses globally, although 200 new roles would be created at the same time.

Clarks chief executive Giorgio Presca is leading the restructuring of the retailer.

In April, three of the big four accountancy firms had been drafted in to work on a restructuring of Clarks as it attempted to weather the Covid-19 impact on business.

The retailer’s family shareholders drafted in KPMG to advise them, while Deloitte was hired by the management team.

Meanwhile PwC was called in to assess the impact of Covid-19.

Clarks has previously denied it would explore a CVA.

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