Next ‘exploring 25%’ stake in Joules

Next is in talks to acquire a 25 per cent stake in lifestyle retailer Joules, according to Sky News.

The valuation of Joules, which has 130 stores and employs 1,000 staff across the UK, has plunged by 90 per cent since the start of the year.

Last week the retailer had a closing share price of 33p and a market valuation of £37 million.

Acquiring a quarter stake in Joules would cost Next around £10 million, Sky said.

Joules did not confirm the size of the stake up for sale but has confirmed that it would see Next become a “strategic minority shareholder”.

Last month Joules reportedly called in KPMG advisers to look at bolstering its finances. The group has since agreed an extension to its banking facilities with main lender Barclays, though this restricts its ability to pay shareholder dividend payouts, according to the news site.

EY is said to be advising Next on its talks with Joules.

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