Made.com for sale as it withdraws guidance with trading tough
It’s not that long ago that Made.com seemed to be on a roll with the firm acquiring Trouva in the spring, a move that boosted Made’s presence in interiors but also gave it a foothold in the fashion sector.
However, Made has been facing tough times since then and on Friday it announced a strategic review and the launch of a formal sale process.
In a stock exchange statement, it said that further to earlier news of weak trading and the need for funding, its board “has decided to conduct a formal review of the various strategic options available to the group to maximise value for shareholders.”
It has faced major headwinds, including the decline in discretionary consumer spending and the “de-globalisation and destabilisation of supply chains resulting in reduced reliability and increased costs”.
And it added that as a consequence of weak trading, the "board has concluded that it is appropriate to withdraw its full-year guidance”.
It’s also now conducting a “strategic headcount review, within the next few weeks”.
As for the formal sale process, the “board has concluded that the prevailing conditions are not supportive at the current time of raising sufficient equity from public market investors”.
So it’s looking at a “broad range of options to either facilitate raising additional funding, for example through debt financing, through a strategic investment by a business partner or other market participant, by realising value from a sale of the group — or its business and assets — or through a business combination with another entity with sufficient funding for the combined group”.
The news sent the company’s share price down by 23% on Friday and it's down by almost 97% in the past year with the shares currently trading for less than 5p each compared to £1.40 a year ago.
It means the firm’s total market capitalisation is less than £18 million today. But the business isn't the only one that's been hit in this way as a consequence of Covid- and Russia/Ukraine-linked disruption. Joules has also seen its share price and valuation plunging as it has struggled to deal with the external issues affecting it. Only this month, it emerged that the expected equity stake that Next was going to take wouldn't now happen.
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