Joules pushed back against reports that discussions with Next over a £15m rescue deal have soured.
In a statement this morning, the struggling retailer said: “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.”
It comes after Sky News reported at the weekend that the high street behemoth had not received enough financial information to make a formal proposal, with questions raised about whether it would proceed with the deal at no less than 33p a share. A source told Sky News that there was “no way” Next would pay a premium to invest in the firm.
AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould said that the company’s announcement “shows the desperation of its situation”.
“Businesses like Joules, which are neither luxury brands nor bargain basement propositions and sell discretionary items, look particularly vulnerable against a highly squeezed consumer backdrop,” he said.
Earlier this month, the Joules posted a profit warning, citing poor sales across key line items like raincoats and jumpers as a factor.
Joules shares fell a further six per cent in early trading this morning to 24p, rather paling against the 254p it was trading at a year ago.
Joules said that it would make any further announcements when appropriate.