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Gloucestershire Business News

Hong Kong investor joins bidding war for shoe shop

A Hong Kong-based investor is thought to have joined the list of bidders interested in shoe retailer, Clarks, as it tries to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Private equity firm Lion Rock is one of two remaining bidders for the 195 year-old footwear retailer, which has stores in Cheltenham, Gloucester, Cirencester and Stroud, as reported by Retail Gazette.

If the deal goes ahead, it could end two centuries of majority family ownership. The Clark family is likely to retain a stake in the business, but it could be reduced to less than 50 per cent.

Around £100 to £150 million is likely to be injected into the business as part of any deal.

The company's strategy Made to Last, launched earlier this year, aims to transform the business amid the pandemic, but is likely to lead to 900 job losses.

Clarks has 345 stores in the UK and employs thousands of people, many of whom are still furloughed. It has said it won't but be exploring a CVA.

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