Axios Pro Exclusive Content

Ted Baker picks a buyer as Sycamore drops out

Kimberly Chin
May 23, 2022
A customer carries a Ted Baker-branded shopping bag after leaving a store in London. Photo: Tolga Akmen/AFP via Getty Images
Photo: Tolga Akmen/AFP via Getty Images

Ted Baker has picked a winner out of the pack of firms that have expressed interest in buying the company.

Why it matters: A deal could help right-size a company that is undergoing a years-long turnaround plan under CEO Rachel Osborne, who took the reins in 2020.

  • The company was hit hard by the pandemic as more formal outfits fell out of favor with consumers who were spending most of their time at home.
  • Its shares as of Friday’s close have declined about 95% since March 2018.

The latest: The British retailer didn’t disclose the name of its “preferred” suitor, but confirmed that Sycamore Partners is walking away.

Of note: Sycamore was in hot pursuit of the brand, approaching the company several times with offers that were spurned.

  • Sycamore’s interest in the retailer attracted the gaze of other third parties and prompted Ted Baker to initiate a formal sale process to field the multiple takeover offers from Sycamore and others.
  • A Sycamore representative couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

What’s next: Ted Baker said it was entering a weekslong “confirmatory due diligence” process.

  • The company said a deal could still be called off and it reserves the right to change or end the sales process at any time.
Go deeper