Ted Baker preparing to appoint administrators

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Ted Baker is on the brink of collapse unless it finds a new business partner, casting doubt over the future of hundreds of high street jobs at the UK fashion brand.

The retailer filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators at the High Court in London on Tuesday.

“We wish that there could have been a better outcome for the Ted Baker employees and stakeholders,” John McNamara, chief strategy and transition officer at Authentic Brands Group, the US owner of the Ted Baker brand.

The brand, which delisted from the London stock market in 2022 after Authentic acquired it in a £211mn deal, will continue to trade online and in stores.

McNamara added that Authentic is focused on finding “a new partner” in an effort to grow the brand in the UK and Europe after it ended a brand licensing partnership with AARC, a Dutch company, earlier this year.

He accused AARC of causing “damage” and weakening Ted Baker’s financial position. AARC could not be immediately contacted for comment.

The intention to appoint administrators notice is meant to prevent creditors such as suppliers or landlords from claiming any money for 10 days before a formal appointment of administrators is made.

Authentic remains in advanced discussions with several potential operating partners to the Ted Baker brand, according to a person familiar with its operations.

Authentic owns several fashion brands, including Juicy Couture and Nine West, and last year it bought the intellectual property of upmarket wellington brand Hunter Boots after it collapsed into administration.

Ted Baker, known for its unusual prints and more formal clothes, started life in 1987 in Glasgow and became a public company in 1997.

It has had a torrid time in recent years after its enigmatic founder Ray Kelvin resigned as chief executive in 2019 amid accusations of inappropriate behaviour against staff, which he denies.

The retailer was hit by several profit warnings and an accounting error relating to its stock position. It struggled to recover from successive lockdowns during the coronavirus pandemic amid a shift towards more casual clothes.


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