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Spurned Joules bidder Foschini sparks row over sale to Next

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The Foschini Group has written to Interpath Advisory, the administrators of Joules, to express its disapproval of the company's choice to sell the country-lifestyle retailer to Next.

The business, which controls Hobbs and Phase Eight, came within hours of agreeing to buy the retailer last month but was beaten by Next.

Interpath Advisory was hired by the troubled clothing retailer after it entered administration in November as it fought to recover from supply chain issues and weakening consumer demand.

READ MORE: 1,450 JOBS SAVED AS NEXT BUYS JOULES OUT OF ADMINISTRATION FOR £34 MILLION

According to Sky News, TFG is believed to have written to the attorneys involved in the sale to raise the possibility that they may have broken laws governed by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

TFG is said to be looking to recoup the costs incurred by Joules' unsuccessful bid.

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According to City sources, the group may file a formal complaint with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales about Interpath Advisory's conduct.

READ MORE: JOULES LAYS OFF SENIOR DIRECTORS AFTER GOING INTO ADMINISTRATION

A spokesperson for Interpath Advisory said: “We stand by the process which was run and reject any notion of unfairness.

“TFG was granted a period of exclusivity in which they had the opportunity to conclude a transaction.

“Despite our best efforts, they were unable to do so within this timeframe.

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“Thereafter, a materially better offer for the business was received, which the joint administrators concluded represented the best outcome for the Company’s creditors.

“In line with their statutory duties, they accepted this offer and went on to conclude the transaction in short order, improving the outcome for creditors and preserving circa 1,400 jobs and over 100 stores.”

Next acquired Joules in a £34 million deal with the retailer’s founder, Tom Joule.

Source: Retail Gazette

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