A potential investment by Next in embattled fashion retailer Joules may not go ahead in the wake of the latter’s most recent profit warning

Joules store

Next and Joules are not yet close to agreeing terms on an investment

Next has been pondering the acquisition of a £15m stake in Joules. However, the two retailers are not yet close to agreeing terms, Sky News reported. 

Next has not yet received sufficient financial information to allow it to make a formal offer, it is understood. It is highly questionable whether Next would be willing to go ahead at the original price of 33p per share – that was based on Joules’ valuation at the time and it has since slid sharply.

Joules said earlier this month that any deal would be struck “at no less than Joules’ current market price”.

However, one source suggested to Sky that there was “no way” that Next chief executive Lord Wolfson would agree to pay a premium for a shareholding in Joules.

Joules said this morning: “The group continues positive discussions with Next Group Plc about both adopting its Total Platform services to support its long-term growth plans and a potential equity investment.

“There can be no certainty that these discussions will lead to any agreement, and further announcements in this regard will be made if and when appropriate.”

Joules reported earlier this month that trading had “softened materially”. It also appointed Jonathon Brown, a former John Lewis and Kingfisher director, as its new chief executive.