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April 4, 2022

Ted Baker kicks off formal sales process

UK high street fashion chain Ted Baker is to conduct a formal sales process after receiving a third proposal from private equity firm Sycamore Partners and other unsolicited third-party bid interest in relation to the company.

By Beth Wright

Ted Baker says its board is focused on maximising value for shareholders. In view of the interest expressed by potential offerors, and having consulted its major shareholders, the board has decided to conduct an orderly process to establish whether there is a bidder prepared to offer a value that it considers attractive.

The move comes as Ted Baker rejected two proposals from Sycamore last week, noting both bids significantly undervalue the company.

The first proposal would have seen Sycamore offer 130 pence for each Ted Baker share. Following the rejection, Sycamore submitted a revised proposal under which it would offer 137.5 pence, marking an increase of 5.8%. The bid, which is worth about GBP254m, according to a report published by The Independent, was also rejected.

Now, Ted Baker has agreed with the UK Takeover Panel that any discussions in relation to an offer for the company may take place within the context of a formal sale process to enable conversations to take place on a confidential basis.

Ted Baker says it intends to conduct a targeted process, focused on “those parties who understand and value the full potential of this unique brand.

The first phase is expected to be based on public information only and interested parties will be invited to submit non-binding indicative offers to Evercore and Blackdown Partners. It is currently expected that a select number of parties will be invited to participate in a second phase.  Those parties will be required, at the appropriate time, to enter into a non-disclosure agreement and standstill arrangement with Ted Baker on terms satisfactory to the board and on the same terms, in all material respects, as other selected parties.  

Ted Baker adds its board has not yet had any discussions with Sycamore as to whether it wishes to participate in the formal sale process. If Sycamore does not confirm an intention to participate in this process, it will continue to be subject to a deadline of 15 April by which it must announce either a firm intention to make an offer for the company or to announce that it does not intend to do so.

In its announcement this morning (4 April), which it notes was made without the consent of Sycamore, Ted Baker says it is well-positioned to create significant value for shareholders, pointing to group sales growth of 35% in the fourth quarter compared to last year, despite the impact of Omicron.

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