Clarks saved in 100 million pound deal

LionRock Capital has agreed to acquire a 100 million pound majority stake in Clarks provided the British footwear retailer gets the green light from creditors to launch a company voluntary arrangement (CVA).

As part of the proposed CVA, Clarks is looking to move 60 of its 320 stores to nil rent, it said Thursday, adding that no stores have yet been set to close and employees and suppliers will continue to be paid.

Hong Kong-based private equity firm LionRock Capital has agreed to acquire a 51 percent stake in the 195-year-old retailer provided the CVA for its UK and Republic of Ireland businesses is approved.

The 100 million pound investment will “enable Clarks to position the business for future long-term sustainable growth”, the retailer said.

As part of the deal, the founding Clark family will remain a key shareholder in the business.

Clarks secures new owner

In May, Clarks announced job cuts as part of its new ‘Made To Last’ strategy which aims to ensure the company has a “sustainable and successful future” as it continues to adapt to the increasingly online retail landscape and the impact of Covid-19.

“Our new strategy, in conjunction with our new partnership with LionRock Capital will create a strong and sustainable future for this unique and iconic brand,” Clarks CEO Giorgio Presca said in a statement Thursday.

“Our strategy is designed to put the consumer at the heart of everything we do through a focus on brand segmentation and revitalising our brand communications, digital experience and product design to create consumer desire. The challenges to our business brought on by Covid-19 have meant that we need more resources and investment in order to fully deliver this strategy and safeguard the future of our business.

“The new partnership with LionRock Capital will provide this as well as the expertise to grow the Clarks brand in China, which remains a primary opportunity. Our people, partners and customers remain our top priority and we are committed to building a relevant, accessible and desirable brand that reflects the way consumers live their lives.”

Photo credit: Clarks, Facebook


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