The pension trustees of shoe specialist Clarks have drafted in advisers in a bid to bring fresh investment into the struggling retailer which has been battered by the effects of the coronavirus.

The embattled retailer’s retirement fund has drafted in advisers from Penfida and FRP Advisory to help with ongoing talks with potential external investors, according to Sky News. 

Investment vehicles LionRock Capital and Alteri Investors have both submitted investment offers and the pension trustees are “actively involved” in discussions which could potentially see the founding family’s ownership diluted. 

Clarks has been in discussions about a share sale since May, a move that would dilute the family’s controlling stake in the company, but would result in a £100m to £150m cash injection.

While well-funded, Clarks pension scheme currently has a deficit of more than £200m and the wider business, which had already been struggling last year, has been hit hard by the coronavirus. 

In May, chief executive Giorgio Presca unveiled the retailer’s “Made to Last” strategy. The 18-month long strategy overhaul will result in 700 redundancies globally, as the retailer looks to future-proof the brand.

In April, three of the big four accountancy firms had been drafted in to work on a restructuring of Clarks as it attempted to weather the Covid-19 impact on business.

The retailer’s family shareholders drafted in KPMG to advise them, while Deloitte was hired by the management team.

Chief executive Giorgio Presca said at the time there were “exciting opportunities ahead” for Clarks.