- Huw Hughes
LionRock Capital has agreed to acquire a 100 million pound majority
stake in Clarks provided the British footwear retailer gets the green light
from creditors to launch a company voluntary arrangement (CVA).
As part of the proposed CVA, Clarks is looking to move 60 of its 320
stores to nil rent, it said Thursday, adding that no stores have yet been
set to close and employees and suppliers will continue to be paid.
Hong Kong-based private equity firm LionRock Capital has agreed to
acquire a 51 percent stake in the 195-year-old retailer provided the CVA
for its UK and Republic of Ireland businesses is approved.
The 100 million pound investment will “enable Clarks to position the
business for future long-term sustainable growth”, the retailer said.
As part of the deal, the founding Clark family will remain a key
shareholder in the business.
Clarks secures new owner
In May, Clarks announced job cuts as part of its new ‘Made To Last’
strategy which aims to ensure the company has a “sustainable and successful
future” as it continues to adapt to the increasingly online retail
landscape and the impact of Covid-19.
“Our new strategy, in conjunction with our new partnership with LionRock
Capital will create a strong and sustainable future for this unique and
iconic brand,” Clarks CEO Giorgio Presca said in a statement Thursday.
“Our strategy is designed to put the consumer at the heart of everything
we do through a focus on brand segmentation and revitalising our brand
communications, digital experience and product design to create consumer
desire. The challenges to our business brought on by Covid-19 have meant
that we need more resources and investment in order to fully deliver this
strategy and safeguard the future of our business.
“The new partnership with LionRock Capital will provide this as well as
the expertise to grow the Clarks brand in China, which remains a primary
opportunity. Our people, partners and customers remain our top priority and
we are committed to building a relevant, accessible and desirable brand
that reflects the way consumers live their lives.”
Photo credit: Clarks, Facebook