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Superdry to quit stock market as part of shake-up plans

Superdry co-founder and chief executive Julian Dunkerton is in talks over a possible takeover (Superdry/PA) (PA Media)
Superdry co-founder and chief executive Julian Dunkerton is in talks over a possible takeover (Superdry/PA) (PA Media)

Superdry today launched a restructuring plan aimed at saving the once mighty brand which will see it raise cash and slash rents.

It will delist from the stock market as part of the plan, which should give it time away from the glare of daily scrutiny of its battered share price.

There will be rent cuts on 39 of its UK stores and an extension on loans agreed with Bantry Bay and Hilco.

It claims this will lead to “material cash savings” over the three years of the plan. It has 94 UK stores.

Superdry shares have crashed from more than 500p five years ago to just to 8p today, which leaves the equity valued at less than £8 million.

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A statement today said: “The Company continues to face challenging trading conditions and, as announced on 28 March 2024, recently extended and increased its secondary lending facility with Hilco to provide improved liquidity headroom as it implements its turnaround plan. To further bolster that liquidity headroom and provide the Company with the appropriate degree of funding certainty to enter into the Restructuring Plan, the Company is today announcing a proposed Equity Raise (which is fully supported and underwritten by Julian Dunkerton, Superdry’s CEO and Co-Founder), to provide it with additional equity funding..”

Dunkerton returned to the business as CEO, ousting the rest of the board in the process, in frustration at how they were running a business that is close to his heart.

He still owns 26% of the shares. He is looking to raise up to £10 million in equity from other investors to keep the brand – once iconic, but lately tarnished – going.

Superdry said: “Given the material changes to the Company’s business envisioned under the new target operating model, the Company considers it best to implement these changes away from the heightened exposure of public markets. In addition, the Company believes it can achieve significant annual cost savings from the Delisting that will contribute to delivering its target operating model.”

Superdry is far from the only mid-market retailer to have struggled lately. Ted Baker is among the rivals that have found life tough.

Dunkerton said: “At its heart, these proposals are putting the business on the right footing to secure its long-term future following a period of unprecedented challenges. I am aware of the implications for all our stakeholders and I have sought to protect their interests as much as possible in the proposals we are announcing today.”

He added: “My decision to underwrite this equity raise demonstrates my continued commitment to Superdry, its stakeholders, its suppliers and the people who work for it. My passion for this great British brand remains as strong today as it was when I founded the business.”

Peter Sjӧlander, Superdry chairman, said: “The board has spent a lot of time engaging with Julian Dunkerton to come up with a plan which gives the business the best possible prospects for the long term while protecting the interests of shareholders and other stakeholders to the greatest extent possible.

“The business has faced extraordinary external challenges and, while good progress has been made on our cost-saving initiatives, more needs to be done to get the business on a stable financial footing for the future.”