The proposed sale of Ted Baker has been thrown into doubt after the board’s preferred bidder dramatically backed away from a deal. 

The fashion retailer said it was “informed by the preferred counterparty last night that it did not intend to proceed with an offer for the company”.

Ted Baker insisted the decision “was not linked to its due diligence review” of the business.

As previously reported, Authentic Brands, the US-based firm that owns brands including Reebok, Forever 21 and Brooks Brothers, was understood to be in pole position to acquire Ted Baker, although the retailer refused to name the party in question. 

Ted Baker said it will now assess “a number” of other approaches it received from prospective buyers and “determine whether to proceed with any of those proposals”. 

It warned there was “no certainty” that any offer would be made. 

The setback comes just two weeks after the Ted Baker board had selected a preferred buyer, having put up the for sale sign in April.  

Ted Baker kicked off the process after receiving unsolicited bids from private equity firm Sycamore Partners and an unnamed third party.

The retailer received two non-binding proposals from Sycamore, both of which were rejected. The second proposal valued Ted Baker at £253.8m.

Ted Baker received a third “improved proposal” from Sycamore as well as a bid from a third party.

The retailer’s share price closed at 136.8p on Monday night, valuing it at £252.5m.

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