TFG registers protest after Next swooped in to buy Joules
South African retail giant TFG has written to Interpath Advisory in protest as its decision to sell failed Joules to Next, which had come in with an 11th hour bid last month.
TFG — or The Foschini Group — owns major UK retail names including Whistles, Phase Eight and Hobbs. It had been seen as the likely buyer of Joules and was reportedly confident about reaching a deal to buy the business. But in a major surprise, Next and Joules founder Tom Joule won the prize at the last minute with a joint £34 million offer.
Sky News said TFG has written to Interpath — which is one of the leading insolvency practitioners in the City of London — and sources told the news organisation that it could also lodge a formal complaint with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW). It also quoted an insider saying TFG has written to lawyers working on the sale suggesting they may have been in breach of certain rules.
There's no suggestion that TFG would be able to reverse the deal, but it’s believed to be seeking to recover the costs it incurred.
Meanwhile a spokesperson for the joint administrators told Sky that despite TFG being granted a period of exclusivity, it was unable to conclude a transaction within the period and a “materially better offer” was received that “represented the best outcome for the company’s creditors”.
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