UK’s Ted Baker Declines Sycamore’s Takeover Offers

Ted Baker Declines Sycamore’s Takeover Offers

British fashion retailer Ted Baker has rebuffed two takeover offers from private equity investor Sycamore Partners Management, saying the proposals greatly undervalue the company, Reuters reported Monday (March 28).

The retailer said the offerings from Sycamore did not “compensate shareholders for the significant upside that can be delivered by Ted Baker as a listed company,” the report stated

See also: British Retailer Ted Baker Could Be Purchased by US Investor

The overtures from Sycamore come at a time of heightened interest in British companies amid declining valuations in the wake of the pandemic and the U.K.’s post-Brexit misfortunes.

And as PYMNTS noted Monday, it’s also happening at a time when activist investors are leaning on retailers.

Read more: Retailers Face Spate of Hyper Activism Amid Post-COVID, Pre-Inflation Transition

Last week, Ryan Cohen, Chewy founder, Gamestop chairman and RC Ventures activist, was able to place three board members on Bed, Bath & Beyond, where he controls a 9.5% stake.

Meanwhile, there’s the saga of Kohl’s, which has said no to multiple outside offers and investor reorganization demands this year that have attempted to break the company into pieces, bring in new directors or simply buy it out entirely for as high as $9 billion.

See also: Why Are Activists Suddenly Swarming Kohl’s and Other Retailers Now?

Reuters reported that Sycamore first made its offer to Ted Baker earlier this month, proposing 130 pence per share, before raising that number to 137.5 pence per share, which would have valued the chain at 253.8 million pounds (about $333.7 million).

“It’s unsurprising that management’s not keen to give up the reins after a few difficult years,” Laura Hoy, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, told Reuters. “We’re finally starting to see some green shoots from the group’s turnaround efforts now that formal occasions are back on the social calendar.”