Hundreds of jobs at risk as Ted Baker calls in administrators

Business

Hundreds of high street jobs are at risk after Ted Baker’s British operations veered to the brink of administration.

Sky News has learnt that No Ordinary Designer Label, which trades under the Ted Baker brand, filed a notice of intention to appoint Teneo Financial Advisory as administrators on Tuesday.

The move is expected to result in store closures and job losses, although the scale of both was unclear.

It comes roughly 18 months after Ted Baker delisted from the London stock market after being bought by ABG for about £210m.

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A subsequent brand licensing partnership with AARC, a Dutch company, was recently abandoned amid a dispute between the parties.

Sources said Ted Baker would continue to trade during the insolvency process.

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The retailer’s torrid period began in 2019 when founder Ray Kelvin left amid claims of inappropriate behaviour towards female colleagues.

The Ted Baker logo is seen at their store at the Woodbury Common Premium Outlets in Central Valley, New York (file pic)
Image:
Pic: Reuters

It was subsequently forced to issue a string of profit warnings and accounting mishaps, having to address the COVID-19 pandemic from a position of financial weakness.

In 2020, it axed hundreds of jobs and raised £100m to shore up its balance sheet.

ABG’s valuation has soared in recent years, after reportedly selling a controlling stake in August 2019 to a division of BlackRock, the world’s biggest asset manager, for $870m.

It owns Forever21 and has partnerships with the likes of David Beckham’s consumer goods empire.

Its other shareholders include the buyout firms General Atlantic and Lion Capital, and GIC, the Singaporean state investment fund.

ABG’s chief strategy and transition officer, John McNamara, said: “Despite our tireless efforts, the damage done during a period under AARC in which NODL built up a significant level of arrears was too much to overcome.

“We wish that there could have been a better outcome for the Ted Baker employees and stakeholders. It is hopefully some consolation for customers that NODL will continue to trade online and in stores.

“We remain focused on securing a new partner to uphold and grow the Ted Baker brand in the UK and Europe where it began.”

Teneo declined to comment.

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