Clothing & ShoesM&A

Bonmarche stores and jobs at risk after Philip Day acquisition

Bonmarche stores and jobs have been put at risk after Edinburgh Woolen Mill owner Philip Day acquired the clothing retailer for £5.7m.

Day told the BBC that if his deal was successful, it would see a “store-by-store profitability assessment” in order to close under-performing stores unless it could implement a different cost cutting plan including “reduced rents, staff reductions or other cost saving measures”.

Bonmarche currently employs 1,900 people across 312 stores, with Day saying that he expected to make a “material reduction” in staff, should his bid be successful. Day has recently bought another stake in the retailer through his Spectre investment vehicle, bringing his share of the retailer to 52.8%, which has triggered a mandatory takeover bid.

Day’s offer of 11.445p per share falls well below Monday’s closing price of 18p, with the retail boss adding that he was “well positioned to provide advice, guidance and support to secure the long term future of the Bonmarche business, its stores and employees”.

A Spectre statement read: “The owner of Spectre, Philip Day, has a successful track record within the retail sector, especially in turnaround and distressed situations.”

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