In a filing to the London Stock exchange, Joules confirms it is in discussions with Next about a potential equity investment raising proceeds for Joules of about GBP15m at no less than Joules’ current market price.

It adds the move would result in Next becoming a strategic minority shareholder in the group, noting the equity investment would be subject to approval by Joules’ shareholders.

The filing comes after speculation this week that Next has been mulling the potential investment for “several weeks.”

A report published by Sky News on Saturday (6 August) claimed Next has been “negotiating for several weeks to acquire up to 25% of the smaller London-listed retailer.”

In its statement, Joules adds it is also it is in discussions with Next about adopting its Total Platform services to support the group’s long-term growth plans

“There can be no certainty these discussions will lead to any agreement. A further announcement will be made if and when appropriate,” Joules states.

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The news comes four weeks after the British lifestyle group confirmed its appointment of KPMG debt advisory to assist with boosting profitability and cash generation.

In an 11 July statement, Joules said that the group continues to focus on improving profitability, cash generation and liquidity headroom as set out in its May trading update. As such it has appointed KPMG debt advisory to assist in the process.

Meanwhile, in a trading update on 19 July, following the completion of its FY22 financial year, Joules said it expects full-year pre-tax profits to be ahead of market expectations on the back of additional cost reductions.

Next Plc did not respond to Just Style’s request for comment at the time of going to press.