In a surprising turn of events, South African retail giant TFG has expressed its protest over the sale of Joules to Next, following a last-minute bid by Next. TFG, which owns popular UK retail brands such as Whistles, Phase Eight, and Hobbs, was considered the likely buyer of Joules and was confident in reaching a deal. However, Next and Joules founder Tom Joule emerged as the winners with a joint £34 million offer.

TFG has taken action by writing a letter to Interpath Advisory, a leading insolvency practitioner in London, to express their protest. Sources suggest that TFG may also file a formal complaint with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW). Furthermore, TFG has written to the lawyers involved in the sale, stating that they may have violated certain rules.

It is important to note that there is currently no indication that TFG will be able to reverse the deal. However, they are believed to be seeking to recover the costs they incurred during the process. The administrators of Joules have clarified that despite granting TFG a period of exclusivity, they were unable to finalize a transaction within that timeframe. They claim to have received a “materially better offer” which they determined to be in the best interest of the company’s creditors.

The sale of Joules to Next has raised eyebrows in the retail industry, as TFG appeared to be the frontrunner in acquiring the struggling brand. The response to TFG’s protest and whether any further actions will be pursued remains uncertain. This development adds another layer of intrigue to the highly competitive and rapidly changing retail landscape.

Useful links:
Sky News: Stay updated with the latest news and developments in various industries.
Interpath Advisory: Learn more about one of the leading insolvency practitioners in London.