Phase Eight has moved to reassure staff after a report emerged last week claiming that its owner had refinanced in order to pocket a payout.
In an internal memo seen by Retail Week, Phase Eight management said the refinancing of the five year facility with Barclays will help grow the brand to exceed the 100 store mark by the end of the year. This year Phase Eight plans to open stores in Australia, Belgium Norway, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and Turkey as well as in the UK and its existing international markets.
The memo was sent following a news article at the weekend that claimed the fashion retailer’s owner Towerbrook had laden Phase Eight with £90m of loans through a controversial refinancing that enables it to pay a special dividend.
Responding to the article, the memo read: “It is always disappointing when stories appear in the media which clearly fail to reflect the facts or our achievements and ambitions, but your management are excited by the huge progress achieved in 2013 and with your support we look forward to working closely together to grow and develop the performance of the Phase Eight Brand during 2014.”
In the memo Phase Eight claimed that the new agreement means its debt facility is on “more favourable terms than existing financing”.
“We are delighted that Barclays have agreed to provide this facility and ultimately consider this to be a sign of confidence in the hard work put in by all of you and the resulting success that continues to be achieved by your company,” the memo added.