Founder Julian Dunkerton plans to make a bid for Superdry

Preparing to present: Julian Dunkerton, with his wife Jade

Preparing to present: Julian Dunkerton, with his wife Jade

Superdry shares more than doubled after its founder said he was in talks to buy the fashion brand.

Julian Dunkerton has shown his hand amid speculation that hedge funds may be planning to pounce on the company he founded more than 20 years ago.

Shares began rising yesterday morning after Norwegian investment group First Seagull bought a 5.3 percent stake.

This sparked talk that she was planning to make a bid for a company that had fallen due to a series of profit warnings and a significant drop in its share price.

Superdry then revealed that Dunkerton himself had begun “exploring the possibility of making a bid for the company”.

Shares closed up 118.2 per cent, or 25 pence, to 46.15 pence.

Duckerton, 58, is in discussions with companies that could finance the deal. He owns 20 per cent of the company, having helped set it up as a market stall in Cheltenham in 2003.

But Superdry said the talks are still at an early stage and no decisions have been made yet.

Dunkerton, who is married to fashion designer Jade Holland Cooper, has until March 1 to submit an offer or withdraw from the process.

Companies that could finance a bid include Ted Baker owner Authentic Brands and High Street powerhouse Next, which has bought struggling retailers such as Joules and FatFace in recent years.

It has also been speculated that Sycamore Partners, the private equity firm that once owned luxury brand Kurt Geiger, may throw its hat into the ring.

Although share prices rose yesterday, the stock is still down 98 percent since its peak in 2018 and more than 60 percent in the past 12 months. At its peak, the company was valued at £1.6 billion.

But Superdry has been struggling in recent years and is valued at just £45m.

After leaving the company in 2018, Dunkerton returned as chairman in a confrontation on the board one year later, unhappy with Superdry’s performance.

Sophie Lund-Yates, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdowne, said the new owners could “inject some life” into the retailer.

(tags for translation) Daily Mail

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