Matalan gets extension of debt payment deadline
Matalan has been handed a deadline extension for its important debt repayment/renegotiation, giving the UK-based fashion and lifestyle retailer time to either find a buyer or backers.
The January deadline to refinance £350 million of debt has now been pushed back to July with Matalan describing the update as “an important milestone” in its recapitalisation plan” while also providing “increased certainty” to the retailer’s 11,000 staff.
The under-pressure retailer announced in September that it is up for sale after its founder, John Hargreaves, stepped down as executive chairman to launch his own bid. Hargreaves then pledged to be “instrumental in positioning the business for long-term success.”
Earlier this month, Matalan entering into talks with prominent activist investor Elliott Advisors as part of its plan to secure new backing. However, reports suggest Hargreaves may face competition from acquisition hungry Frasers Group, which has been rumoured to be tabling its own offer.
As retail enters the so-called ‘golden quarter’ in the run-up to Christmas lenders are increasing concerned about which businesses they are willing to finance, given the economic uncertainty, so the movement of Matalan’s debt refinancing deadline will be one looming problem that can be shelved for now.
At the end of the second quarter period last month, Matalan had unrestricted cash on balance sheet of £101.6 million, compared with £173 million a year ago and £73.3 million in 2020.
The group has developed a four-year business plan which estimates that it can increase its annual revenues from £1.199 billion in fiscal year 2023, to £1.284 billion in 2024, £1.381 billion in 2025, and £1.444 billion in 2026.
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