Mothercare shares soar as it outlines restructuring plans to close 50 stores and return of former boss Mark Newton-Jones

 
Rebecca Smith
It had been reported that Mothercare was bringing back former boss Mark Newton-Jones
It had been reported that Mothercare was bringing back former boss Mark Newton-Jones

Mothercare this morning unveiled details of its long-awaited company voluntary arrangement (CVA) proposals, with plans to close 50 stores with rent reductions on another 21.

It also confirmed that Mark Newton-Jones will be returning to the hot seat as chief executive after leaving just last month.

Shares soared more than 20 per cent in early trading on the news.

Read more: Mothercare's chairman heads for the exit

The children's clothing retailer confirmed details of the measures planned to refinance its business and restructure its store portfolio this morning through CVAs of three of its UK subsidiaries. These are expected to result in a reduced store estate with the closure of 50 shops, and "material rent reductions" on another 21 stores.

It is expecting to have a total store portfolio of 78 by the 2020 financial year, down from 137 today.

Mothercare said the plans will allow the business to return to a more stable footing.

Its refinancing will provide funding of up to £113.5m, made up of a proposed equity capital raising of £28m to be launched in July, and revised committed debt facilities of £67.5m. The refinancing will also involve new £8m shareholder loans from some of the company's largest investors and a new debtor-backed facility of up to £10m from one of its trade partners.

Yesterday, it was reported that Mothercare was rehiring its former boss in a surprise U-turn, after he was sacked last month.

Chairman Alan Parker, who has since stepped down, said the board had come to the decision unanimously, having "investigated the options very thoroughly".

Clive Whiley was appointed Mothercare's interim chairman.

Whiley said today the return of Newton-Jones as chief executive, with new boss David Wood becoming group managing director delivered "a first-class executive team to ensure implementation of the transformational tasks ahead of us.

He said: "Mark Newton-Jones has agreed to return as chief executive officer (subject to execution of contract, further details of which will be included in a separate announcement in due course) alongside David Wood becoming group managing director. Both will be members of the Mothercare board. "

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