Next and Frasers Group vying to acquire troubled Ted Baker

ted baker

Next and Frasers Group have emerged as potential buyers for Ted Baker’s European retail business, signalling interest in salvaging the fashion label after its recent collapse into administration.

Both companies are in discussions with administrators at Teneo Advisory to explore the possibility of acquiring all or parts of Ted Baker’s operations.

The collapse of No Ordinary Designer Label Limited, Ted Baker’s retail and ecommerce business in Britain and Europe, last month prompted interest from retail heavyweights Frasers Group, helmed by Mike Ashley, and Next, under the leadership of Lord Wolfson of Aspley Guise. Authentic Brands Group, which acquired Ted Baker for £211 million in 2022, attributed the collapse to significant damage incurred during a partnership with AARC, a Dutch company overseeing Ted Baker’s UK and European operations.

While Ted Baker’s administration resulted in the closure of several stores and redundancies, potential buyers Next and Frasers Group are exploring avenues to salvage some shops under a prospective deal. Sources suggest that both companies have a limited timeframe to submit bids, with an announcement expected within the next three weeks.

Next and Frasers Group have established themselves as active players in the retail acquisition landscape, with Next acquiring brands like FatFace, Joules, and Cath Kidston, among others, in recent years. Frasers Group, on the other hand, has expanded its portfolio with acquisitions such as Matchesfashion, Wiggle, and Jack Wills, demonstrating a strategic focus on diversifying its retail offerings.

The interest shown by Next and Frasers Group in Ted Baker underscores the ongoing challenges faced by the fashion retailer since the departure of founder Ray Kelvin in 2019. Despite subsequent leadership changes and transformation efforts, Ted Baker has struggled to regain its footing in the market. Its acquisition by Authentic Brands Group in 2022 marked a shift to a privately owned and licensed business model, yet the company’s fortunes have continued to wane.

As Ted Baker navigates through administration, the prospect of acquisition by established retail players like Next and Frasers Group offers a glimmer of hope for the brand’s future, potentially providing a path to revitalization and sustainable growth in the retail landscape.

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Next and Frasers Group vying to acquire troubled Ted Baker