Joules administrator nears rescue deal with Phase Eight owner - report
The administrator to collapsed fashion retailer Joules is reportedly on the brink of a rescue deal with the South African owner of Phase Eight.
According to Sky News, The Foschini Group (TFG) is close to securing an agreement to buy the majority of Joules' stores and assets. One source said a deal could be struck as soon as Wednesday afternoon.
If completed, it is likely to see around a quarter of Joules' 132 shops closed, with the loss of "several hundred" jobs, Sky said.
A more precise figure for store closures and redundancies could not be identified, with Interpath Advisory, the administrator, refusing to comment.
It also remains possible that an alternative buyer such as Next or Mike Ashley's Frasers Group could yet trump TFG's interest with a last-ditch offer.
TFG, which also owns Hobbs and Whistles, had been in discussions with Joules for several weeks about investing in the business prior to it calling in administrators this month.
Joules had been in talks with Next about a strategic investment earlier in the year but the two sides were unable to agree the terms of a deal. It then hired Interpath to consider a company voluntary arrangement that would have allowed it to slash its overheads through store closures, rent reductions and job cuts.