British fashion retailer Ted Baker has announced that it is seeking a buyer for the company following unsolicited bids from private equity firm Sycamore Partners. The news has caused the company’s shares to rise by more than 14%, valuing the company at £271 million.

Initially, Ted Baker rejected the first two offers from Sycamore Partners, but the private equity group has now submitted an “improved proposal.” In addition to Sycamore Partners, other potential bidders have also shown interest in acquiring the fashion brand.

Despite the challenges posed by the Omicron variant in the fourth quarter, Ted Baker reported a sales growth of 35% and improvement in trading margins. The company’s board is confident that Ted Baker is well-positioned to generate significant value for shareholders, whether they remain as current investors or become future owners.

The decision to pursue a sale process was made after consultation with major shareholders and in response to the interest expressed by potential buyers. Ted Baker intends to conduct a targeted sale process, focusing on parties that have a deep understanding and appreciation of the brand’s potential. Interested parties will be required to submit non-binding indicative offers to the company’s financial advisors, Evercore and Blackdown Partners. The identities of potential bidders will remain confidential, complying with the UK Takeover Panel’s regulations.

While exploring the possibility of a sale, Ted Baker is also open to continuing its operations as an independent, publicly listed company if the right offer is not presented. The company’s future will depend on whether it can attract an offer that the board finds attractive in comparison to the brand’s standalone prospects. Discussions with Sycamore Partners regarding their involvement in the sale process are yet to take place.

In summary, Ted Baker is seeking a buyer for the company after receiving unsolicited bids. The company’s board believes in the value and potential of the brand and is confident in its ability to create value for shareholders. The sale process will be targeted and confidential, with potential bidders required to submit indicative offers. Ted Baker is also prepared to continue operating independently if a suitable offer is not received.

Additional Links:
Ted Baker Official Website
BBC Article on Ted Baker’s Potential Sale