JD Sports "in talks to buy Missguided" - report
JD Sports is possibly on the acquisition trail again with a report claiming that it's in talks to buy online fashion retailer Missguided. Neither company has said anything on the subject however, so it remains unconfirmed for now.
A report by Sky News said that JD is among “a small number of parties” in talks with Missguided chief Nitin Passi and his advisers about “an investment” in the firm.
That investment could mean it buying a majority stake in the operation, although it's unclear whether Passi would be happy to hand over control in this way. Additionally, the talks are believed to be nowhere near reaching a conclusion and the fashion specialist is considering a number of options.
Those options also include linking up with a company other than JD Sports and the report said a small number of other prospective investors are also talking to the firm.
Twelve-year-old Missguided was founded by Passi and rose to prominence quickly. Since its 2009 launch, it has become one of the major UK names selling fast fashion online.
Despite earlier losses, its sales rose 40% to around £290 million in the year to March. It was profitable when costs arising from the pandemic were excluded. And earlier this year, Passi said he expects annual turnover to be “closer to £400 million” with a focus on UK and US growth.
Back in April, the founder had also said that the company wanted to expand "aggressively" and that outside backing would be the way to do this. At the time, the company was expected to sell a minority stake and perhaps raise up to £100 million. And there was a suggestion that this could lead to a majority takeover or perhaps a stock market listing.
However, despite its size and high profile, Missguided has faced hurdles along the way, plunging into the red a few years ago. Its move into physical shops also didn't work out and it retreated from these after opening in flagship locations such as Westfield Stratford and Bluewater.
It was also the subject of a supplier scandal a few years ago when a Leicester-based supplier was found to be paying workers below the minimum wage.
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