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Joules founder returns as it ends investment talks with Next

By Rachel Douglass


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Image: Joules, Facebook

Joules has confirmed that its founder Tom Joule will be returning to lead the company through its turnaround plan after its discussions with Next regarding a potential 15 million pound equity stake fell through.

On his entrance to the company last week, the group's new CEO Jonathon Brown announced the return of Joule, who is also a non-executive director of the company.

Joule will lead the British heritage brand's renewed product development process for the upcoming seasons, overseeing its product offer.

In a release, the group said it will continue to work towards a turnaround plan focused on higher profitability through the implementation of better pricing, profitable product categories with shorter time to market and a focus on cost control.

The group noted that its outlook for the full year has remained unchanged, and it will continue to assess its financing requirements.

This could include a possible equity raise, which Joules said it was considering as an alternative in order to strengthen its balance sheet. However, it said a further announcement will be made if need be.

Next takeover falls through

While Joules did not disclose the reason behind the decision to terminate investment talks with Next, the news followed a difficult period for the retail group, which last month warned it was expecting to deliver a full year loss before tax and adjusting items “significantly below current market expectations”.

The profit warning, alongside a resulting drop in shares, had reportedly cast doubt over the acquisition plans by high street retailer Next, which, according to Sky News, had not yet received sufficient financial information in order to carry out a formal proposal.

Joules has now said that while the investment discussions have been put on hold, talks about potentially adopting the Next Total Platform in the future will remain ongoing.

In a release, the group added: “The company has an ongoing positive relationship with Next, successfully selling Joules products through Next’s Label channel which will continue.”