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Matalan hires former New Look boss as interim CEO amid sales process

By Rachel Douglass


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Image: Matalan, Facebook

Matalan has announced the appointment of former New Look boss Nigel Oddy to interim CEO as the retailer undergoes a formal sales process and growth strategy.

Oddy will join the company from October 3 following his departure from New Look in June where he was credited with navigating the pandemic and delivering on an omnichannel strategy.

He has also previously held a number of other C-Suite positions at the likes of House of Fraser and Furnitureland, as well as various senior roles at Marks & Spencer.

Matalan said Oddy will be focused on the development of its ongoing growth strategy, driving its business performance and building its omnichannel capabilities while repositioning the brand.

Founder steps down from position as chairman

The British retail company also announced a number of changes to its board of directors, namely that its founder John Hargreaves will be departing from his position as chairman while its strategic sales process progresses.

Hargreaves stepped down as CEO in 2020, but remained in the company to provide strategic counsel to the board. He then returned to the business earlier this year, replacing Steve Johnson as chair.

According to a statement in a press release, Hargreaves said he is stepping down in order to participate in Matalan’s ongoing strategic sales process as a bidder.

He added: “My focus and absolute commitment will remain to do what I believe is in the best interests of the company and all its stakeholders, in particular the 11,000 people we employ. My intention is to be instrumental in positioning the business for long-term success.”

Independent non-executive director Tim Isaacs will become interim chairman and will be joined by a new non-exec for the board, Paul Copley.

Begins strategic sales process

The restructuring comes as Matalan kicks off its strategic sales process in a bid to cut the group’s debt and strengthen its financial position.

In its release, the company said it has secured an agreement with over a majority of its First Lien Secured noteholders on the key terms of “comprehensive recapitalisation”.

The agreement will see the noteholders provide 200 million pounds of senior secured, stapled financing to interested parties, while also committing to supporting the retailer’s intent to extend the maturity of the First Lien Secured Notes of 350 million pounds maturing in January 2023 by six months.

The company has been approaching the deadline to refinance a debt which, if supported by the relevant parties, would result in a material reduction and an extension of the repayment to September 2027.

Next to the announcements, Matalan also published its Q2 trading report covering 13 weeks to August 27, in which it said its revenue came to 286.4 million pounds, up from 264.7 million pounds in the same period last year.

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